Helping to develop a Pandemic Emergency Facility

Just like an earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster, the outbreak of a pandemic is an actual catastrophe that requires a quick, effective response. However, when the Ebola crisis broke out in West Africa in 2014, it took the affected countries and the international community several months to mobilise the resources necessary for an adequate response. The World Bank has made it a priority to address this situation and has mandated Swiss Re and Munich Re as the partners to support the development of a Pandemic Emergency Facility (PEF).

The goal of the PEF is to set up a response system mechanism to ensure that sufficient resources will be available early enough to prevent an epidemic developing into a fully-fledged pandemic. The facility will use pre-determined and transparent criteria to indicate an outbreak. When these triggers are met, funds will be made available within days, either through capital markets or re/insurance. This will allow emergency workers, equipment and medicines to be rapidly deployed to an affected area, to prevent further spread of the disease.