Lack of progress in reforms such as World Health Organization funding and international health regulations means the world is as risky as ever, the Independent Panel for Epidemic Preparedness and Response said in its report.
The report’s authors, led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, acknowledged some progress, but said the process was too slow.
“We now have the same equipment and the same system that existed to respond to an epidemic threat in December 2019. And those tools weren’t good enough,” Clark told reporters.
“If a new epidemic threatens this year, next year, or at least next year, we’ll be pretty much in the same place … probably worse, because of the tight financial space of many, not most countries now.”
Wednesday’s report by the World Health Organization comes ahead of next week’s World Health Assembly in Geneva, the WHO’s annual decision-making forum, which is expected to address some of the issues raised.
While the agency welcomed some steps within the World Bank, including steps to establish a separate global health care fund, it warned that global interest was declining and how many years it would take to set up other tools – including a potential epidemic agreement, an international preparedness agreement – too long. Was.
The panel called for a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly and the Independent Health Threats Council, headed by heads of state, to take some action.
“Only the highest levels of political leadership have the legitimacy to bring together multiple sectors in this way,” Sirleaf said in a statement.