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World Bank warns against future health disaster

The World Bank yesterday warned against future occurrence of health disaster saying the world is dangerously unprepared for future pandemics.

President, World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim stated this while delivering a talk during the inaugural Global Futures Lecture at Georgetown, Washington. The lecture, titled ‘Lessons from Ebola: Toward a post-2015 strategy for pandemic response,” will kick off a semester-long conversation about the “Global Future of Development” at Georgetown as part of the university’s new Global Futures Initiative.

During the speech, Kim laid out a vision in which insurance companies, governments, multi-lateral organizations, corporations and international donors worked together to build a system that would help all countries prepare for potentially catastrophic health disasters.

“The Ebola outbreak has been devastating in terms of lives lost and the loss of economic growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” Kim told an audience at Georgetown University. “We need to make sure that we get to zero cases in this Ebola outbreak.

At the same time, we need to prepare for future pandemics that could become far more deadly and infectious than what we have seen so far with Ebola. We must learn the lessons from the Ebola outbreak because there is no doubt we will be faced with other pandemics in the years to come.”

Kim said that the World Bank Group has been working for several months with the World Health Organization, other United Nations agencies, academics, re-insurance company officials and others to work on a concept of developing a pandemic facility; discussions also were held in informal sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week.

He said he expects that a proposal will be presented in the coming months to leaders of developed and developing countries. While a proposal would likely involve a combination of bonds and insurance instruments, he said that in some ways, a future pandemic response facility was similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy.







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