World Bank Launches ‘Pandemic Bonds’ to strengthen outbreak preparedness
Whilst not targeting R&D, World Bank’s recent release of ‘pandemic bonds’ is worth highlighting in this newsletter, since it shows the global momentum to enhance preparedness to outbreaks.
On June 28, 2017, the World Bank launched a bond to provide financial support to the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), a quick-disbursing financing mechanism that provides a surge of funds to enable a rapid and effective response to a large-scale disease outbreak.
This catastrophe bond, the first of its kind, will provide more than $500 million to cover developing countries against the risk of pandemic outbreaks over the next five years. The countries eligible for financing are members of the International Development Agency (IDA), the arm of the World Bank dedicated to the world’s poorest countries.
The PEF covers six viruses that are most likely to cause a pandemic: new Orthomyxoviruses (new influenza pandemic virus A), Coronaviridae (SARS, MERS), Filoviridae (Ebola, Marburg) and other zoonotic diseases (Crimean Congo, Rift Valley, Lassa fever).
The World bank said that this transaction was oversubscribed by 200% showing an overwhelmingly positive response from investors.