The World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) is a quick-disbursing financing mechanism that provides a surge of funds to enable a rapid and effective response to a large-scale infectious disease outbreak in the world’s poorest countries. Eligible countries can receive timely, predictable, and coordinated financing if affected by an outbreak that meets the PEF’s activation criteria.
The PEF comprises an innovative Insurance Window, which provides the first-ever insurance for pandemic risk, offering coverage to all low-income countries eligible for financing under IDA, and a Cash Window. The PEF Cash Window helps fill te financing gap that occurs after an initial outbreak and before large-scale humanitarian relief assistance can be mobilised.
The PEF Cash Window has already proven its effectiveness. The Cash Window disbursed US$18 million of much-needed funding for the mid-2018 response to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Equateur province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which was effectively contained. A total of US$50 million from the Cash Window has also been disbursed to fund the shortfall in the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of DRC, which has been much harder to bring under control.
The funding results in timely and appropriate financing for public health emergencies that are quickly escalating and may cross borders.