Stakeholders urged to be serious on global pandemic funds


By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, June 2: Nepal will face a serious shortage of medicine like in COVID-19 if stakeholders are not serious about the provision of global pandemic funds, stakeholders said.

During COVID-19 Nepal has faced a serious shortage of medicine like masks, oxygen and other essential elements. The condition of many developing countries was the same as Nepal in comparison to developed ones. 

Not only in such a great pandemic, poor people of Nepal are still facing the problem of health services even in disasters like floods, landslides and earthquakes because the stakeholders have demanded to distribute the funds on an equity basis.

Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which has been working health pandemic has issued a dire warning about the current draft of the World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Agreement.

There was a discussion held in an ongoing pandemic fund run by WHO with a plan to support global people. The Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 May to 1 June with the theme All for Health, Health for All. 

AHF Nepal demanded to increase the fund and also demanded to share the fund on an equity basis.

In a discussion programme, Dr Dipendra Raman Singh, Additional Health Secretary, stated that developing countries are facing health challenges due to issues created by developed nations. However, he noted that developed countries are not becoming serious about addressing these problems. As the sustainable development goals (SDGs) emphasize "leaving no one behind," all global parties must be serious about achieving this transformation.

Similarly, Divya Raj Joshi, country programme manager of AHF said the Pandemic Fund must be focused on equity where the distribution of resources will be on the need base.

AHF strongly demanded a guarantee of at least 80% coverage of essential health products globally during pandemics, enforceable commitments with clear penalties for non-compliance, an independent oversight mechanism to monitor and report on progress and full participation of civil society and affected communities in the agreement's drafting and implementation.

If the concerned stakeholders will not be initiating to resolve the problem now, the situation will be more troublesome in future pandemics, AHF said. 

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