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There is a clear economic case for accelerating investment and progress toward improved global health security – the cost of preparedness and prevention is a fraction of the cost of response and recovery. The question is how to get the sizing, organization, and incentives of financing preparedness right at national and global levels, ensuring resources are in place to mount an effective, coordinated response when health emergencies occur.
Sustained and substantial funds are vital for global health security, but the landscape of financing for preparedness, prevention and response is fragmented and poorly governed. Multiple international programs, initiatives, and institutions have evolved in the aftermath of past pandemics, but many were small and inadequately funded; the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the ways in which global preparedness and response are under-resourced and under-prioritized. What financing commitments, structures, and mechanisms will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure fit-for-purpose financing for global health security going forward?
CGD experts have been examining and working to improve financing for preparedness, prevention, and response since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, including work on financing for the response to Ebola and antimicrobial resistance, and the global health team continues to provide research, commentary, and analysis for actionable solutions and transformative ways forward.
On April 7, 2016, CGD’s vice president for programs and director of global health policy Amanda Glassman testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy at a hearing examining progress made in addressing the West Africa Ebola epidemic and its secondary effects.
Six months have passed since the WHO declared the current outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This declaration set in motion an international response to curb the spread of the disease. While far from over, there are signs that the epidemic is starting to come under control and that the outbreak is moving into a new phase.
The Obama Administration has requested $6.18 billion in emergency funding to fight and contain Ebola. The ask is now in the hands of Congress, but given that Ebola incidence seems to be on the decline in many (not all) districts in West Africa, some leaders are losing steam on the response.
Since the first case of Ebola appeared last year, the virus has infected nearly 10,000 people. The epidemic is concentrated in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea — post-conflict countries with incredibly weak health systems.
The Center for Global Development’s Drug Resistance Working Group urges pharmaceutical companies, governments, donors, global health institutions, health providers, and patients to collectively and immediately tackle this global health threat by implementing four key recommendations.
In an increasingly interconnected world, drug resistance does not stop at a patient’s bedside—it threatens global health. The conclusions of the Center for Global Development’s Drug Resistance Working Group make clear the need for urgent action to address this growing crisis.
Having tried and mostly failed to track what was going on with US Government performance and spending on Ebola, I welcome the GAO’s overview of obligations and disbursements by appropriation account and strategy pillar. Now the scope of this report appears to be narrow, so let’s hope there’s more to come. A performance audit should go beyond the money to look at what actually happened; what organizations, activities and products were funded; what were the results on the outcomes that matter—Ebola transmission, rapid control of Ebola outbreaks; whether second-order economic impacts were mitigated; and how outbreak preparedness has evolved over time.