Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will co-lead the implementation of 12 projects worth $264 million aimed to boost local and global health security as part of The Pandemic Fund’s first round of financing.
As one of the Implementing Entities, FAO will be at the forefront of driving change and progress with the One Health approach, which aims to optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems, recognizing that they are closely linked and interdependent.
The 12 projects involve FAO’s participation in partnership with governments and other agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank (WB), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Directly under FAO's oversight, approximately $60 million will be utilized over three years. The initiatives will benefit Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Togo, Zambia, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Paraguay and Yemen, as well as the West Bank and Gaza.
Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are also part of a regional project specifically for Central Asia.
Within the framework of One Health for better prevention, preparedness and response to public health emergencies, the projects focus on three priority areas: collaborative surveillance, laboratory capacity, and workforce development. These include actions such as reinforcing disease prevention; combating antimicrobial resistance; strengthening early warnings, detection and response capabilities; improving collaboration between human, animal and environmental laboratories; and staff training.
“FAO welcomes the first round of financing from the Pandemic Fund and we are committed to supporting nations to be better prepared for future health crises. Under FAO’s One Health initiative- a holistic, integrated, collective approach- we will continue to work to effectively maintain and enhance the well-being of humans, animals, and the environment in a sustainable manner”, said Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo.
About the Pandemic Fund First Call for Proposals
Established in September 2022 and officially launched during a G20 meeting, the Fund, hosted by the World Bank, is the first multilateral financing mechanism dedicated to providing multiyear grants to help low- and middle-income countries better prepare for future pandemics.
After receiving 179 applications from 133 countries for its First Call for Proposals, the Fund's Governing Board met in July and agreed on finance allocations for 19 projects worth $338 million that will support 37 countries.
Overall, the selected projects for this First Round will play a vital role in supporting the Pandemic Fund's objectives, bringing in additional resources for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
Moreover, they will incentivize countries to increase their investments in health security, enhance coordination among partners, and serve as a platform for advocacy.
Notably, 30 percent of the grants allocated are for projects in sub-Saharan Africa – a region with the highest demand for support.
The $338 million of grants awarded are also expected to mobilize over $2 billion in additional resources, adding $6 for each $1 coming from the Fund.
Implementing Entities have until December 2023 to obtain formal approval to proceed with implementation, following their respective internal rules and procedures.
By January 2024, all projects are expected to be fully operational. The Pandemic Fund's Governing Board aims to launch the second Call for Proposals by the end of 2023.