Financing global health emergency response: outbreaks, not agencies

Vageesh Jain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Effectively responding to global health emergencies requires substantial financial commitment from many stakeholders, including governments, multilateral agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. A major current policy challenge needs attention: how to better coordinate investment among actors aiming to address a common problem, disease outbreaks. For donors who commit colossal sums of money to outbreak response, the current model is neither efficient nor transparent. Innovative approaches to coordinate financing have recently been tested as part of a broader development agenda for humanitarian response. Adopting a system that enables donors to invest in disease outbreaks rather than actors represents an opportunity to deliver a more cost-effective, transparent, and unified global response to infectious disease outbreaks. Achieving this will be challenging, but the World Health Organization (WHO) must play a vital role. New thinking is required to improve emergency response in an increasingly crowded and financially convoluted global health arena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature Limited.


  • Emergency response
  • Global health
  • Health economics
  • Health protection
  • Infectious diseases


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