The funding will support the World Bank’s new Financial Intermediary Fund to scale up pandemic prevention and response programs in low- and middle-income countries
NEW YORK | July 14, 2022 – The Rockefeller Foundation announced a $15 million commitment to the World Bank in support of its new Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) to strengthen pandemic prevention and response in low- and middle-income countries. The Rockefeller Foundation joins the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust as founding donors in the philanthropic sector to help establish a secretariat at the World Bank with technical leadership from the World Health Organization (WHO) and broad support from the G20. With more than $1 billion already announced for the new fund, including contributions from the European Union, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Bank World and WHO will work closely with foundations and other key partners to develop the detailed scope and design plan for a new FIF.
“The devastation of the pandemic remains inequitable for a reason: since the first Covid-19 infection, wealthier countries have the ability to pay for early and frequent access to tests, treatments and other tools, while that low- and middle-income countries have been left behind,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation. “The World Bank’s Financial Intermediary Fund will help break this inequity by giving these low- and middle-income countries the tools and capacities they need to help prevent and respond to epidemics.
The fund, which is expected to be operational later in 2022, aims to build and sustain global, regional and national capacities by providing $10.5 billion annually over the next five years. It should initially focus at the national level with priority areas such as disease surveillance, laboratory systems, health workforce, communication and emergency management, and community engagement.
“We know what works in pandemic prevention and management: early detection, rigorous surveillance and rapid response,” said Dr. Naveen Rao, Senior Vice President of Health at the Rockefeller Foundation and Chairman of the Board of the Pandemic Prevention Institute. “The Rockefeller Foundation Institute for Pandemic Prevention is well positioned to work alongside national, regional and global partners in executing these efforts so that we can get ahead of and effectively respond to public health threats.”
This commitment builds on the Rockefeller Foundation’s long tradition of funding initiatives to improve health outcomes for the world’s most vulnerable populations, including its global hookworm campaign more than 100 years ago; seed the development of the yellow fever vaccine; support translational research for tools such as penicillin; stimulate the development of an AIDS vaccine; then the creation of the Institute for Pandemic Prevention in 2021 to help the world detect, prevent and mitigate pandemic threats and contain them as quickly as possible. The Institute is actively seeking new partners to define and invest in a common agenda through RF Catalytic Capital, Inc. (RFCC), the public charity the Rockefeller Foundation established in 2020 to enable foundations, governments and other like-minded funders to combine their resources to build social impact financing solutions and drive transformational change.
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