The Economic Case for a Pandemic Fund

Ecohealth. 2018 Jun;15(2):244-258. doi: 10.1007/s10393-018-1338-1. Epub 2018 May 21.


The rapid urban spread of Ebola virus in West Africa in 2014 and consequent breakdown of control measures led to a significant economic impact as well as the burden on public health and wellbeing. The US government appropriated $5.4 Billion for FY2015 and WHO proposed a $100 Million emergency fund largely to curtail the threat of future outbreaks. Using epidemiological analyses and economic modeling, we propose that the best use of these and similar funds would be to serve as global insurance against the continued threat of emerging infectious diseases. An effective strategy would involve the initial investment in strengthening mobile and adaptable capacity to deal with the threat and reality of disease emergence, coupled with repeated investment to maintain what is effectively a 'national guard' for pandemic prevention and response. This investment would create a capital stock that could also provide access to safe treatment during and between crises in developing countries, lowering risk to developed countries.

Keywords: Adaptation investment; Pandemic threat; Prevention investment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / prevention & control
  • Disease Outbreaks / economics
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Emergencies / economics
  • Emergencies / epidemiology*
  • Financing, Organized / economics
  • Financing, Organized / organization & administration*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Pandemics / economics
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • World Health Organization