Its president has spoken at an Anti-Corruption panel discussion to launch this rapid-disbursing bond.
The World Bank has now announced the launch of a fast-disbursing $500 million pandemic insurance fund that is meant to help to make the necessary money available to poorer countries when the world faces a global epidemic.
This is the first time that an insurance market has been created for combating the risk associated with pandemics.
The World Bank has also already received commitments from certain nations to help to pay into the pandemic insurance fund. For instance, Japan was the very first to add its contribution, pledging $50 million toward this facility. That money will be used to combine funding from the reinsurance markets with the earnings that result from a new type of high yield pandemic catastrophe bond that the World Bank has said it will begin to issue. Should this type of widespread disease outbreak occur, that facility would be capable of the rapid release of funds to be dispensed within the poorer countries that are affected by the outbreak, as well as to qualified first responder agencies from around the world.
The pandemic insurance fund was developed to address the lacking that existed during 2014’s Ebola outbreak.
At that time, the international response was painfully and harmfully slow. Countries took months to come up with the necessary funding in order to provide support to affected countries. Meanwhile, throughout that time, the outbreak spread and people continued to die as a result of it.
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According to Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, “The recent Ebola crisis in West Africa was a tragedy that we were simply not prepared for. It was a wake-up call to the world.” He made this statement while speaking in a media conference call. He added that “We can’t change the speed of a hurricane or the magnitude of an earthquake, but we can change the trajectory of an outbreak. With enough money sent to the right place at the right time, we can save lives and protect economies.”
The pandemic insurance fund is designed to initially provide a maximum of $500 million that can be rapidly distributed in order to combat a multinational outbreak. Once the requirements for the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility are met, based on certain parametric triggers, that money is issued based on the severity, size and spread.