Arlington, Va. (Feb. 10, 2021) – Today, Conservation International issued the following statement calling on the Biden Administration and Congress to work together to help establish and lead a Global Fund for Pandemic Prevention. Congress should appropriate US$ 2.5 billion for pandemic prevention in the next COVID-19 relief package, and the Biden Administration should use that commitment to lead the world in creating a Global Fund.
“Preventing pandemics at the source is critical to stopping the next COVID-19,” said James Roth, Conservation International Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Government Affairs. “We need to prevent the spillover of pathogens from animals to humans. We know where that happens, how and why. Now, Congress must include pandemic prevention in its COVID-19 response, and President Biden, Secretary Blinken, Special Envoy Kerry and Administrator Power should use a US$ 2.5 billion commitment to generate contributions from other major economies and lead the world in creating a Global Fund for Pandemic Prevention.
“The catastrophic effects of COVID-19 have painfully demonstrated that reducing the risk of spillover is much more cost-effective, for lives saved and for economic impact, than trying to contain a pandemic after the spillover event has already happened.”
Conservation International joined the Preventing Pandemics at the Source coalition, hosted by Dalberg Catalyst and Rainforest Alliance, to call for Congressional funding and U.S. leadership to create the Global Fund for Pandemic Prevention.
Coalition members Ari Bernstein of Harvard Global Health Institute, Tom Lovejoy of the United Nations Foundation and Conservation International scientists Lee Hannah and Jorge Ahumada are co-authors of research published in the journal Science demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of preventing pandemics and urging the inclusion of pandemic prevention in stimulus and recovery funding. Since the research published in July, the devastating effects of COVID-19 have shown the cost-effectiveness of prevention to be even more paramount.
About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International’s work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.