World Bank Launches $500 Million Insurance Fund to Fight Pandemics
Monday, May 23, 2016
The World Bank on Saturday said it was launching a $500 million, fast-disbursing insurance fund to combat deadly pandemics in poor countries, creating the world’s first insurance market for pandemic risk.
Japan has committed the first $50 million towards the facility, which will combine funding from reinsurance markets with the proceeds of a new type of World Bank-issued high-yield pandemic “catastrophe” bond, the bank said.
In the event of a pandemic outbreak, the facility will release funds quickly to affected poor countries and qualified international first-responder agencies. The genesis of the new facility was the slow international response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, when it took months to muster meaningful funds for affected countries as death tolls mounted.
“The recent Ebola crisis in West Africa was a tragedy that we were simply not prepared for. It was a wake-up call to the world,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told a media conference call.
- Health Care