Ebola treatment facility

Reuters—World Bank says nations ill-prepared to battle pandemic diseases

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Most of the world is failing to invest enough money to prevent the potential global spread of disease that could kill millions of people and cripple economies, the World Bank said on Thursday.

Faced with a pandemic, an unprepared planet could lose billions to trillions of dollars, a significant chunk of the global gross domestic product, it said in a report.

Yet containing pandemics – diseases that spread globally compared with epidemics that are localized – would cost about $1 per person per year in investment, the Bank said.

“Given the scale of risk to human lives and livelihoods, the investment case for financing preparedness is compelling,” said Peter Sands, chairman of the Bank’s Working Group on Financing Preparedness which wrote the report.

“We must make it happen,” he said.

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