On September 14th 2020, the GPMB released its second report titled, A World in Disorder. In this report, the GPMB provides a harsh assessment of the global COVID-19 response, warning that the world cannot afford to be unprepared again when the next pandemic hits. The Board called for five urgent actions to be taken to bring order out of the catastrophe and chaos currently facing the world: responsible leadership; engaged citizenship; strong and agile systems for health security; sustained investment; and robust global governance of preparedness.
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The five background reports on preparedness can be downloaded here
In our 2019 Annual Report, ‘A World at Risk’, we warned of the very real threat of ‘a rapidly spreading pandemic due to a lethal respiratory pathogen’2, and the need for determined political leadership at national and global levels. We called for seven urgent actions to prepare the world for health emergencies:
Heads of government must commit and invest
Countries and regional organizations must lead by example
All countries must build strong systems
Countries, donors and multilateral institutions must be prepared for the worst
Financing institutions must link preparedness with financial risk planning
Development assistance funders must create incentives and increase funding for preparedness
The United Nations must strengthen coordination mechanisms
Progress in implementing these actions has been limited. It is not as if the world has lacked the opportunity to take these steps. There have been numerous calls for action in these areas over the last decade, yet none have generated the changes needed. Financial and political investments in preparedness have been insufficient, and we are all paying the price.