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International Cooperative Responses to Pandemic Threats: A Critical Analysis

Global Health
Milan Brahmbhatt
Olga Jonas

"In this paper, we argue that the world appears to be seriously underinvesting in international cooperation for the prevention and control of pandemics—for reasons that range from outdated models of the pandemic threat to challenges in the provision of global public goods, in tackling catastrophic risks, and in the political economy of public choice. Nevertheless, these challenges can be met. The economic returns on investments to prevent and better control pandemics are extremely large. The last 15 years provide valuable lessons from both suc- cesses and setbacks, suggesting four principles for a plan of action to revitalize international cooperative responses to pandemic threats. "

Milan Brahmbhatt is Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute and a member of the project team for the New Climate Economy Initiative of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, where he leads the work of the Country Transitions workstream. Before joining the New Climate Economy, Milan worked at the World Bank as Senior Adviser to the Vice President of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, dealing with a wide range of macroeconomic and structural policy is- sues, including the economics of climate change, sustainable growth, and infectious diseases.

Olga Jonas is an Economic Adviser at the World Bank. She has coordinated responses to avian flu and other pandemics since 2006. Her prior duties include advising on replenishments of the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, leading economic work of the global task force on small states, and coor- dinating responses to the extractive industries review and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She also led macroeconomic operations in francophone African countries for over a decade. She joined the World Bank in 1983 after working at the Bank for International Settlements and the OECD. She holds degrees from Williams College and Princeton University.