Linking funds to actions for global health emergencies

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Science  15 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6236, pp. 762-763
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5521

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The failings of the international community's response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa underscore the need for new mechanisms for governance and mobilization of resources for timely, coordinated responses to public health threats (1). Creating a global finance mechanism, ideally tied to existing global health frameworks, is a first step. The World Bank recently announced it would create a Pandemic Emergency Facility (PEF). The next necessary element is a trigger to release those funds to support rapid and effective responses during early phases of a public health event. With the World Health Assembly convening soon, we suggest how the World Health Organization's (WHO's) International Health Regulations (IHR) present such an initiator.