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Pandemic emergency financing facility: struggling to deliver on its innovative promise

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa in 2014-16 exposed many flaws in the global response to infectious disease. In particular, it highlighted the gap between countries’ commitments for outbreak preparedness, detection, and response, as required under the International Health Regulations, and their actual ability to respond when needed. This is partly due to a lack of financing. Responding agencies such as governments and non-governmental organisations were on the back foot when trying to fund control efforts as the Ebola epidemic increased in intensity. Prompt financing during the early stages of outbreaks can limit a pathogen’s spread, and the World Bank estimated that early financing of $100m (£81m; €92m) could have averted much of the subsequent socioeconomic and human crisis.

Brim, B., & Wenham, C. (2019). Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility: Struggling to deliver on its innovative promise. BMJ, 367:15719

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