The World Bank just launched the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility with a total initial funding of US$500 million. It is a fast paying insurance fund to counter deadly epidemics in poor countries.
The PEFF is the worldâ€™s first insurance market for pandemic risk. Contributions came from the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governorâ€™s that met in Japan.The facility is in conjunction with WHO, Swiss Re and Munich Re as insurance providers.
The creation of the new facility was triggered by the Ebola crisis in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people. It was a tragedy that the world was not prepared for. It has cost more than US$7 billion in international aid and US$2.8 billion in GDP losses.
Accordingly, in an epidemic outbreak, the facility will release funds quickly to affected poor countries and qualified international first-responder agencies.
World Bank President Kim said, â€œWith enough money sent to the right place at the right time, we can save lives and protect economies.â€
The insurance mechanism is limited only to certain classes of infectious diseases such as SARS, MERS, EBOLA and MARBURG. The ZIKA virus is not included but through a separate cash window.
Kim said the types of qualifying diseases had to be limited in order to secure policy for which the World Bank will pay premiums.
The PEFF is a commendable cause calling morebenefactors. Japan has given the first US$50 million to the facility.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is an international trade union federation of transport workers’ unions. Any independent trade union with members in the transport industry is eligible for membership of the ITF.
Around 700 unions representing over 4.5 million transport workers from some 150 countries are members of the ITF. It is one of several Global Federation Unions allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
“Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin
(By Edgar Allan J. Tac-an)