Via The Guardian: Escalation of Ebola crisis could have been avoided, says World Bank president. Excerpt:
The catastrophic Ebola outbreak in west Africa could have been snuffed out as early as the summer of 2014 had sufficient money been available, according to Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president.
Instead, the number of cases increased tenfold in three months. Although the bank made emergency funds available in August 2014, most of the donations from other major donors did not kick in until October of that year. By the end of October 2014, there had already been more than 13,500 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths.
In an interview with the Guardian, Kim said there need never again be such a delay following the launch of a pandemic financing facility, backed by insurance companies, that will ensure million of dollars are instantly released to fight similar disease outbreaks in the future.
A cash window of $100m (£75m) will disperse emergency funds in the event of certain types of disease outbreak, including Sars and flu as well as Ebola and similar viruses. Had the facility been in place earlier, it could have been utilised when significant numbers of Ebola cases were first reported.
“The $100m would have released in July and I think we would have been able to have a much better chance of getting in control of it in July. October is when it got really bad,” said Kim.
The cash window funded by donors is a first stage, designed to give rapid access to emergency funds. The mechanism could have been triggered by the Zika outbreak in Brazil had it been available.
The second stage is an insurance policy while the third is a bond, worth in total up to $500m. Unlike the normal claims-based insurance policies, where people are reimbursed afterwards, this is parametric insurance, which releases money the moment things begin to happen. How much is released depends on the size, spread and severity of the outbreak.