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Wednesday, 22 June 2022 12:41

G20 ministers discuss sources, utilization of health emergency funds

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The G20 members discussed financial sources and utilization of health emergency funds at the 1st Joint Finance and Health Ministers Meeting of Indonesia’s 2022 G20 presidency here on Tuesday night.

Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin highlighted the discussion topics of the meeting while chairing the event.

The first topic pertained to the creation of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) as an attempt to mobilize financing sources and other needs through a more permanent mechanism.

FIF was initiated to strengthen the role of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) – an ad-hoc body of finance access for several countries to handle the pandemic.

Funds collected through FIF aim to facilitate the state in seeking emergency medical measures, such as treatment, vaccine development, and diagnostics of the exposed people.

Sadikin expressed gratitude to the finance ministers of G20 members for having inaugurated the financing sources.

The second objective of the discussion was to encourage G20 members to agree on the use of global health emergency funds since currently, the available funding was only able to meet 50 percent of the required budget to solve the global health crisis, he explained.

The discussion also covered the effort to synergize international genome sequencing laboratory facilities.

"Thus, we can quickly identify pathogens spreading in any region in the world and share the information with global scientists," the Indonesian minister stated.

Regarding the diagnostics of the exposed people, he emphasized the need for Indonesia to harmonize global health protocol standards, considering the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily halted the movement of labor and goods due to the lockdown policies in several countries.

"Hence, the pandemic causes an economic crisis that is able to become a social or political crisis," he remarked.

Thus, the G20 forum is required to ready funds and global health protocols to mitigate pandemics in future, he emphasized.

In addition, the discussion aims to expand G20's global manufacturing and research facilities to ensure that low- and middle-income countries are not heavily burdened by the impact of the pandemic.

The meeting was also attended in person by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani as well as the delegations from the World Bank, Global Fund, and Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).

Meanwhile, most of the finance ministers of G20 members attended the event virtually. (Antaranews)

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