World leaders urged to be prepared for future pandemics at G20 HWG meeting
The second Health Working Group (HWG) meeting brought global leaders to initiate a new global emergency fund for future pandemics and focused on facilitating greater sharing of genomic sequencing data, as well as how the Financing Intermediary Fund (FIF) functions under the World bank in preparing for future pandemics.
The Indonesian Health Minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, encouraged the G20 member states not let pandemic stride without learning valuable lessons.
“Only through great earthquakes, lofty mountains rise. I believe this is true, not only for volcanoes, but also for our humanity. During every crisis, lie great opportunities,” said in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.
The main issues addressed in the 6 to 8 June 2022 meeting were mobilization of financial resources for future pandemic responses.
G20 member states discussed lessons learned from the successes of medical countermeasures initiatives, such as COVAX and the ACT-accelerators that worked efficiently during the pandemic in ushering vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
G20 and its partners, such as GISAID, now is looking at the optimization of genomic surveillance and trusted data sharing mechanisms, allowing the world to quickly identify novel pathogens that may pose new threats to global health security.
“We need a more permanent coordinating platform that can address five cores such as access to countermeasures, emergency coordination, collaborative intelligence, community protection; and clinical care to patients in need,” said the Minister of Health.
Indonesia has committed to donate USD50 million to the FIF. As part of the G20 presidency mandate, Indonesia will also lobby organizations and donors to ensure that the fund benefit the right target countries to prevent conflicting interests from donors and organizations.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s General Secretary, was commended Indonesia’s presidency to prioritize the establishment of global health system architecture and putting it in the G20 agenda.
“We must learn from the lessons this pandemic has taught us because this will not be the last one,” said Dr. Tedros.