Monday, 21 February 2022 05:42

India calls for more multilateral funding to prepare for future pandemics

India on Thursday (17 February) urged the world’s biggest 20 economies (G20) to make joint efforts to ensure increased multi-lateral funding by global institutions including the International Monetary Fund to prepare for future pandemics.

Low middle-income and middle income countries do not have enough resources and need global support to face these challenges, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told her G20 counterparts hosted at a virtual meeting hosted by Indonesia, which holds the rotating presidency of the group.

Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman participates in 1st #G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting under @G20Indonesia Presidency. FM will virtually join sessions during the 2-day meeting to discuss current #global economic issues and #G20 priorities for 2022. (1/4)

— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) February 17, 2022

G20 members should work together to address the gaps in global pandemic preparedness, which were raising “serious concern”, Sitharaman said.

She said the World Health Organisation (WHO) needed to augment its capacity and mobilise global resources, and structural bottlenecks would have to be addressed to lessen the impact a pandemic might have.

Earlier on Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged G20 members to back a proposed fund to invest in pandemic prevention and preparedness, warning that failure to close gaps in global health systems could result in “devastating” costs.

Yellen told finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 top economies that the new financial intermediary fund – to be hosted at the World Bank – would help channel the estimated $75 billion in investments needed to reduce global vulnerabilities to future pandemics.

India will hold the Presidency of G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023, culminating with a G20 summit in India in 2023.

India prepares for G20 Presidency.