Our increasingly inter-connected world may be a boon for business and tourism, but it presents an increasing threat to global health. Today, pathogens such as the COVID-19 virus can migrate across the globe at the speed of a passenger airplane.
“The devastating impacts of COVID-19 demonstrated why the world needs a more collaborative, cohesive and equitable approach to preventing, preparing for and responding to pandemics,” said World Health Organization Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
That is why global leaders decided in a high-level United Nations meeting to make the world better prepared for future pandemics by strengthening international cooperation, coordination, governance, and the investment necessary to avert or minimize a future peril.
Recognizing the need to be prepared for possible emerging threats, the United States joined the other countries pledging to improve Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States worked with partners around the world to deliver vaccines, tests, treatments, and supplies, and to invest in regional and local efforts to stop the disease. In collaboration with COVAX and other partners, we donated over 688 million safe and effective vaccines to 117 countries and economies around the world.
Building on our longstanding commitment to strengthen global health security, we are preparing to meet the next health emergency in four key ways.
First, we will collaborate with countries around the world to improve disease detection capabilities, to strengthen laboratory systems and train health workers, and improve biosafety.
Second, we will engage with the private sector to develop a system that will make it easier for countries around the world to access vaccines, tests, treatments, and other supplies when they most need them.
Third, to help countries finance vital countermeasures during future health emergencies, we will boost multilateral efforts like the Pandemic Fund. So far, the United States has supported this fund with $450 million and plans to contribute another $250 million.
Finally, to improve the speed, coordination and transparency of global response to the next health security threat, we are working with numerous partners to modernize existing organizations, like the World Health Organization.
United Nations member states demonstrated their collective commitment to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, so that people everywhere can forge a safer, more secure future. The United States is committed to doing its part.