RIYADH — Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday its pledge of support amounting to $50 million for the Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) or the Pandemic Fund to enhance global efforts to prevent pandemics.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan announced this in his speech, delivered on behalf of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, at the foreign ministers’ session of the G20 Summit, which concluded in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday.

The G20 Presidency of Indonesia, in partnership with the Pandemic Fund secretariat, officially launched FIF at a high-level event, opened by Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, on the sidelines of the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting.

Speakers at the event welcomed the launch of the Pandemic Fund as a key part of the solution to reducing risks from epidemics and pandemics in the most vulnerable parts of the world and contributing to a healthier and safer world.

The Pandemic Fund initiative came into being as an output of Saudi Arabia’s presidency of Group 20 during the year 2020. The heads of state and leaders of the G20 at that time lauded the Saudi presidency’s initiative to start discussing solutions to address gaps in global pandemic preparedness and response procedures, including the Kingdom’s proposal to launch an initiative to access to means of pandemic fighting tools.

In their closing statement, the leaders of the G20 countries welcomed the establishment of the FIF, noting the Kingdom’s role in developing the initial idea during its presidency of the group in 2020.

The new FIF for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) was officially established by FIF Governing Board at its inaugural meeting in September this year. The fund will provide a dedicated stream of additional, long-term financing to strengthen PPR capabilities in low and middle-income countries and address critical gaps through investments and technical support at the national, regional, and global levels.

The fund will make available financing for laboratory systems, disease surveillance, emergency communications and management, community engagement, and the health workforce.

The support provided by the Kingdom, in addition to the support provided by countries, institutions, and international non-profit organizations, totaling $1.4 billion, will contribute to strengthening efforts at the regional and global levels to share epidemiological data, coordinate procurement of medical and non-medical countermeasures, and harmonize regulatory measures.

© Copyright 2022 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).