November 18, 2022

Financial Justice for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response

Nicoletta Dentico, Baba Aye, Mariska Meurs

A year ago, the second Special Session of the World Health Assembly (WHASS) unanimously agreed to start a diplomatic process for a new binding instrument aimed at ensuring the international community is better prepared for the next health emergencies. The establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) at the WHO paved the terrain for a proper negotiation, which has started to unfold. The INB will be releasing the “conceptual zero draft” of the treaty text in early December 2022.

Whatever the outcome of the process, one of the inescapable pillars of any new international agreement is addressing how to finance pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR). This is the reason why the Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2) decided to embark into the contentious relationship between the international financial architecture and current health financing models, towards highlighting the pitfalls the world must avoid to ensure a healthier post-COVID world.

There is no shortage of money in this world, but redirecting that money requires bold action. Most financial decisions rest with the G20 and fiscal policies with the OECD – entities with no jurisdiction that embody high-income countries’ interests. Therefore, we need delegates to get out of their silos and be prepared to confront the status quo, including actors and institutions that maintain the current system of global financial injustice. There are no easy solutions, but new ideas and initiatives at the UN are paving the way for addressing pathological relations of power at the root of health inequities.

Cover of the report