The Rockefeller Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO) have announced a new partnership to strengthen the WHO’s Hub Program for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence with a $5 million investment. The partnership aims to accelerate priority projects that advance global collaboration in genomic surveillance, adoption of data tools for pathogen detection, and assessment of the threat of climate-induced outbreaks.
Established in 2021, the WHO Hub Program for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence will reduce the risk of future pandemics and epidemics through better access to data, improved analytical capacity, better tools and insights for decision-making. The partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation will accelerate these efforts with catalytic funding and technical assistance. The collaboration will foster a global network for pathogen detection and prevent pandemics, including expanding surveillance for diseases exacerbated by rising temperatures and extreme weather.
According to Dr. Chikwe Ihekwarez, WHO Assistant Director-General and Head of the WHO Pandemic Outbreak Information Hub, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential components of health security, including disease surveillance, stakeholder collaboration, and data sharing that the international community was unprepared for. He further added that as the threat posed by climate change grows, the partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation will usher in a new era of global collaboration in pandemic intelligence.
The partnership will support projects such as expanding the global capacity of genome surveillance through the International Pathogen Surveillance Network, developing a digital platform to enable real-time communication and collaboration among public health analysts and researchers around the world, and improving outbreak detection through the Global.health data science initiative.
The Rockefeller Foundation has a 75-year history of cooperation with the WHO and its legacy of supporting global pandemic preparedness and response. In January 2022, the Rockefeller Foundation announced a $1 billion investment to facilitate a more inclusive and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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