The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Thursday the launch of its "Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan 2021" for the COVID-19 pandemic that would require $1.96 billion in support from its member states.
According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the plan has six objectives: suppress transmission, reduce exposure, counter misinformation and disinformation, protect the vulnerable, reduce the number of deaths and illnesses, and accelerate equitable access to new tools, including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
Of the amount sought, some $1.2 billion would go to the WHO component of the ACT Accelerator, a global collaboration led by the WHO to accelerate the development, production and equitable deployment of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.
Tedros said that the plan has been designed to complement and work in coordination with other funding mechanisms, not to supplant or duplicate them.
It reflects the cost of the WHO's pandemic response work this year and recognizes the need to fully integrate the COVID-19 response into planning for health and development programs. It will also cover the WHO's pandemic response work in humanitarian settings.
The WHO launched its first strategic plan for COVID-19 last year by asking for $1.7 billion and eventually raising $1.58 billion, more than 90 percent of which was allocated to countries and regions in vital funding to those working on the frontline of the pandemic as well as supporting the WHO's core scientific and technical work.