Statement from Dr. Rick Bright, Senior Vice -President, Pandemic Prevention and Response, The Rockefeller Foundation
NEW YORK | June 14, 2021 – The Rockefeller Foundation looks forward to collaborating with the G7 and other international organizations and entities to protect the world from future pandemics as outlined in the G7 Summit Communique and the Carbis Bay Health Declaration.
The G7 plays a powerful role in setting the global strategy and is uniquely positioned to help transform how the world prevents and responds to health threats. The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the critical need for expanding capacities to prevent, detect, and respond rapidly to disease outbreaks. This also requires strong, well-coordinated engagement across private and public sectors, with international organizations and other pandemic-prevention entities around the world.
Ending the pandemic in 2022 as agreed in the G7 Summit Communique will require equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines in all countries as outlined in our Updated Global Vaccination Action Plan. The Rockefeller Foundation commends the G7 for their commitment of an additional 870 million doses of vaccines as a welcome start to ending this pandemic.
The Carbis Bay Health Declaration, signed by G7 leaders, outlines a more unified approach to building up the global public health infrastructure to better respond to future emergencies. With clear commitments to support stronger coordination, improved transparency, and increased availability for lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics in the first 100 days of a pandemic threat.
The G7’s Summit Communique builds on the declaration with additional pandemic prevention commitments, including improving genomic sequencing capabilities, establishing data sharing standards, building effective early warning systems and supporting the establishment of the international pathogen surveillance network. These commitments will enhance our global response to the current Covid-19 emergency and future health threats.
The Rockefeller Foundation is currently developing a pandemic prevention institute to work closely with the G7 and the World Health Organization (WHO). This entity will leverage data insights to help identify, analyze, and inform responses to emerging outbreaks before they become global catastrophes. As expressed in the Carbis Bay and G7 Summit Communique, data can play a transformative role in supporting effective early warning and rapid response to health crises.
The Rockefeller Foundation is already working with WHO and others to improve the quality, coverage, and collaboration of international, regional and national pathogen surveillance. This will be key to identify new variants in our fight against the current pandemic and to detect and monitor future pathogens with pandemic potential. This work builds upon the Foundation’s legacy of catalytic health investments and more recent work to harness the power of data and technology to improve health outcomes globally.
The Rockefeller Foundation looks forward to partnering with the G7 and other pandemic prevention efforts, including the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence and the UK’s Global Pandemic Radar, to move the world closer to a pandemic-free future.