Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Brianna Christenson
In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparedness and prevention actions are pivotal to ensure that communities, governments, and all sections of society are better prepared to develop adequate responses to future pandemics. Pandemics are large disease outbreaks that affect several countries and pose major health, social, and economic risks. Pandemic preparedness constitutes that activities have to be undertaken to the health facility levels to be able to respond effectively to disease outbreaks.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain’s pandemic preparation was inadequate. Major reforms to the United Kingdom’s public health structures, and a decade of underfunding, meant public health systems across the United Kingdom entered the pandemic without the resources, workforce, or structures they needed to successfully shape and influence governments’ responses to COVID-19. However, the United Kingdom is committed to doing what it can to help strengthen health systems. Prime Minister Andrew Mitchell issued a statement declaring that the United Kingdom is committed to doing what it can to help strengthen health systems. And to work with partners to ensure that safe and effective vaccines, medicines and tests are available during pandemics to all who need them, when they need them. Also, The United Kingdom is on their way to championing a new reform to their international financial institutions, in order to release more finance to lower- and middle-income countries. The United Kingdom is delving into investing in the Pandemic Fund and other funds to strengthen preparedness and to ensure that when the next pandemic strikes, faster funding is available.
In 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the United Kingdom will give £25 million to fund a new World Bank fund to prevent, prepare for and respond to future devastating pandemics. The new fund will help fill some of the financing gaps exposed by COVID-19, distinctly insufficient financing for preparedness in national health systems and disease surveillance at country, regional and global levels. The United Kingdom also has announced that over £370 million is being donated to strengthen global health security. This will help tackle deadly diseases in Africa while expanding the United Kingdom Vaccine Network programme. This has been put in place to establish research and technical partnerships in Africa and the Indo-Pacific.