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Indonesian Jokowi launches G-20 pandemic fund and seeks more money


NUSA DUA, Indonesia Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Sunday at the launch of a Group of 20 (G-20) pandemic fund that the amount of money raised so far to improve preparedness for future pandemics was still not enough.

The fund launched by Indonesia’s G-20 chairman is aimed at low- to middle-income countries to finance efforts such as surveillance, research and better access to vaccines, among other measures.

I expect more support, Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, said in a video address at an event in Bali, where the G-20 is holding a summit this week.

The fund has raised around US$1.4 billion (S$1.92 billion) so far, including contributions from Indonesia, the United States and the European Union, as well as donors and philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was created amid the anger of many developing countries over their experience during the Covid-19 pandemic, when wealthier countries often hoarded the bulk of resources such as vaccines to fight the virus.

The World Bank, which will serve as trustee of the funds, and the World Health Organization (WHO), which advises on the facility, estimated in a report that the annual funding gap for pandemic preparedness is 10 .5 billion dollars.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the fund is expected to grow in size with contributions from France and Saudi Arabia. She did not specify by how much.

It launched a call for proposals from countries wishing to access the fund. Reuters




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