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12.07.2021, 09:40

The world must start preparing for the next pandemic - Singapore’s senior minister

CNBC reports that Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that the next global pandemic could happen at any time and the world must start preparing for it now.

“We don’t have the luxury of waiting for Covid to be over before we start preparing for the next pandemic, because the next pandemic can come any time,” Tharman said.

“So we’ve got to use our current effort to tackle Covid, to also build up the capacities required to head off the next pandemic,” he added.

A G-20 panel of global experts on Friday released a report proposing measures to prevent outbreaks and quickly respond to any future pandemic. Tharman co-chairs the panel with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The measures include “better and more reliable funding” for the World Health Organization, as well as tapping multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to help fund the fight against a pandemic, said Tharman.

He added that the current international system to respond to a global pandemic is “fragmented” and “under-funded.” To plug that gap, the panel proposed setting up a new global fund with a minimum $10 billion a year, said the Singapore minister.

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