10/18/2019 Pandemic Preparedness: Financing Responses in an Age of Uncertainty

Date: October 18, 2019, 3-5 PM

Location: Feinstone Hall, Bloomberg School of Public Health

What are the roles of capital markets and complex financial products in global health management? This afternoon symposium seeks to explore the histories of international epidemic financing and the transformations we are seeing today with a special focus on the World Bank’s involvement in the current Ebola Epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the West African Ebola Epidemic, international organizations and the global health community have sought ways to more effectively and quickly fund international responses to epidemic events. In 2017, in response to the widely seen failure of the global community to respond fast enough to the West African Ebola Epidemic (2014-2016), the World Bank developed a novel financial product aimed at providing faster financing to prevent the rapid spread of epidemic crises. The World Bank has aimed to utilize global bond markets to finance swift aid delivery to epidemic stricken regions through the creation of a pandemic bond instrument. This has ushered in a new era for disease financing, transforming questions of risk assessment and the perceptions of epidemic events. How is epidemic risk assessed when focused through the manifold lenses of finance? What forms of data are now critical to assessing disease risk? What can be achieved or lost with similar capital-based interventions and who do these financial products serve? 

Organizer: Alexandre White (School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University)


Nicholas King (Faculty of Medicine, McGill University)

Daniel Lucey (O‘Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University)

Alexandre White (School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University)

Discussant: Alexis Walker (Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University)