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Why Switzerland should strengthen international health protection in the long term

According to the white paper, Pour Demain recommends that Switzerland provides 50 million per year for international pandemic preparedness and response.


New infectious disease are are appearing repeatedly and with increasing frequency. According to the Federal Office for Civil Protection, a pandemic is the greatest social risk for Switzerland. National measures alone are not sufficient to prevent or contain pandemics. International efforts are needed to ensure key tools of pandemic preparedness and response, such as the rapid production and availability of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments.


Recommendations for policymakers

Based on research and over 20 interviews with experts from academia, government, policy and civil society, Pour Demain developed recommendations and investment scenarios in a discussion paper. This paper recommends the consideration of two implementation options in favor of the long-term strengthening of international health protection:

  1. Creation of a legal basis for the long-term financing of projects in favor of international health protection: If Switzerland were to invest - according to the G20 benchmark - 0.007% of its gross domestic product annually, or about 50 million Swiss francs, it could ensure its proportional contribution to closing the funding gap for international pandemic preparedness and response.

  2. Establishment of a competence center for international health protection: In a competence center, global pandemic response could be strengthenend in a centralized manner with exepertise, international networking, targeted projtects, research and innovation.


Switzerland lags behind OECD countries

The Coalition for Innovation in Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), for example, shows how international pandemic preparedness can work successfully. The public sector is underinvesting in pandemic response worldwide. This is also true for Switzerland. A comparison of OECD countries shows that Switzerland has considerable room for improvement. Per capita CEPI funding in Switzerland for the 2017-2021 period was only 1.3 Swiss francs, far behind other countries in Europe such as Germany (4.4), the United Kingdom (5.0), the Netherlands (3.3), and Norway (33.2).



As a health hub, Switzerland is predestined to become more involved in international health protection. Swiss investments in international pandemic preparedness and response contribute to a safe and healthy Switzerland.



Documents


For further inquiries

Laurent Bächler, Program Manager Biosecurity, Pour Demain, laurent.baechler@pourdemain.ch




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