In the meeting, the establishment of the FIF and access mechanism for other countries will be discussed.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia has sought support from G20 member countries to establish a permanent global funding agency to deal with future pandemics, Indonesian spokesperson at the G20, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, has said.

"Indonesia is pushing for a global agreement to build health resilience through the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) as an effort to mobilize funding sources and other needs through a more permanent mechanism," Tarmizi said at the online pre-event media gathering for the First Health Ministerial Meeting here on Friday.

Tarmizi recalled the situation in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many countries were not ready to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in terms of funding for capacity building for medical devices, medicines, vaccines, and human resource needs.

"In Indonesia, it was very difficult to find personal protective equipment (PPEs) and masks. On the availability of RT-PCR test kits, PCR reagents, rapid antibodies, antigens, at the beginning, only developed countries had access to it, while other countries had limited access to these tools," she noted.

In addition to limitations on the availability of medical devices, Tarmizi said, there was also inequality in access to vaccines between rich and poor countries.

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"Why the World Health Organization (WHO) is only targeting vaccination of 70 percent in each country, because many countries, especially in Europe, have not been able to fulfill the COVID-19 vaccination (target) due to the limited number of vaccines and funds," she asked.

Tarmizi, who is also the secretary general of the Public Health Directorate at the Health Ministry, said the FIF was first mooted during a task force meeting involving the G20 financial and health institutions in October 2021.

At the time, the World Bank and the WHO had developed the FIF concept based on G20 member countries' inputs, and it will now be the subject of discussion at the group's health ministers and finance ministers' meeting in Yogyakarta on June 20–21, 2022.

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"In the meeting, the establishment of the FIF and access mechanism for other countries will be discussed," she informed.

According to Tarmizi, FIF will be an important institution for preparing global mitigation to face future pandemics.

"G20 members will raise funding for FIF and encourage commitments from other member countries," she said.

Countries that have committed to funding the FIF include, among others, Indonesia US$50 million (Rp741.82 billion), the United States $450 million (Rp6.6 trillion), Germany $50 million (Rp741.82 billion), Singapore $10 million (Rp148 billion), and UK-based charitable foundation The Wellcome Trust $10 million (Rp148 billion).

"The contribution and commitment of FIF will continue to be mobilized by Indonesia to create a permanent funding institution to deal with the pandemic in the future," she said.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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