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The Other Global Challenge: Pandemic Risks and the World Bank Roadmap


  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore and Co-Chair of the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response [recorded]


  • President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia and Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response
  • Eric Meyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa and the Middle East, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Carolyn Reynolds, Co-Founder, Pandemic Action Network


  • Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
This event was hosted in-person at CGD’s DC office: 2055 L St NW, 5th floor, Washington, DC 20036

Pandemic potential outbreaks are increasing in intensity and frequency in the coming decades, and the next big one could emerge at any time.

At the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in 2022, shareholders called on the Bank to develop a plan to respond to such global challenges. A December roadmap was issued, outlining an approach to evolving the mission, operations and resources of the World Bank to better address climate change but also pandemic preparedness and response. And this spring, an update on World Bank evolution is included on the agenda of the Bank’s Development Committee with more concrete ideas on enhancing scale, incorporating global challenges within country programming, providing greater concessionality or adjustment to allocation mechanisms related to global challenges, and optimizing for impact. 

Also last year, the Pandemic Fund was launched, which has just issued its first call for proposals. G20 leaders called for the creation of the fund, with a proposed capitalization need of $10.5 billion annually to respond to the increasing threat of pandemics. However, initial contributions have fallen short of the mark, at just $1.6 billion to date, with no ambitious resource mobilization plan yet. 

As new leadership is elected and the evolution roadmap advances at the World Bank, this panel aims to discuss ways that the World Bank and its shareholder countries can tackle pandemic risk as a global challenge. What scale is needed at the Bank itself and at the Pandemic Fund? Within the Bank roadmap, what kinds of operational arrangements and incentives could work to address and optimize impact for not only pandemic preparedness but also response? What role can and do different Bank instruments play?

Join the Center for Global Development and the Pandemic Action Network for a conversation on how the World Bank’s evolution can respond to the ever-present global challenge of pandemic and epidemic risk.

For a full list of CGD Spring Meetings events, click here.