The discussion paper, prepared for a Geneva workshop, examines pandemic financing challenges, explores spending capacities of countries, and analyses financing mechanisms from global regimes, including lessons from the Global Fund.
This discussion paper was crafted in preparation for the workshop titled “Understanding Pandemic Financing and Learning from Other Experiences; Exploring Key Questions for
the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) and Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (WGIHR),” held on November 22, 2023, at the International
Conference Centre of Geneva. Organized by the Global Health Centre at the Geneva Graduate Institute, the workshop aimed to foster discussions among members of Geneva-based permanent missions and government officials from capitals, providing a platform to explore financing for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPPR). Given the vast nature of the topic it was not possible to cover every aspect comprehensively. Therefore, the workshop and this paper were designed to complement other events organized on this theme, including a joint INB and WGIHR briefing on the financing landscape for public health emergencies held on 27 September 2023 at the WHO and online, ensuring that the discussions would add value without duplicating existing efforts.
The paper commences by providing an overview of pandemic financing, addressing challenges associated with the concept of PPPR financing and delving into the complexities of estimating financing needs and gaps. It then explores prospects for countries’ spending capacities on health and pandemic preparedness and response, considering the impact of projected macroeconomic trends on their abilities to allocate additional funds from domestic resources. The paper also analyzes examples of financing mechanisms from other global regimes, touching upon arrangements under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and Multilateral Environmental Agreements, including the Global Environment Facility and the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund. Finally, it shares lessons learned from the Global Fund’s successful implementation of debt swaps through the Debt2Health initiative. For ease of reference, Annex I provides textual excerpts relating directly to financing from the three drafts of the Pandemic Accord released to date, and Member States’ proposed amendments to the IHR regarding financing. Annex II provides excerpts from environmental treaties that serve as the legal basis for the Global Environment Facility, for ease of comparison.