PATH applauds new US global health security legislation on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response

December 15, 2022 by PATH

Today, US Congress passed comprehensive and bipartisan pandemic preparedness legislation as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. PATH applauds the leadership of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) for sponsoring this global health security legislation, which takes the critical steps needed to strengthen the US government’s pandemic preparedness.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the ongoing cycle of global panic and neglect when responding to health threats such as pandemics. The fractured, slow, and inequitable global COVID-19 response has highlighted the clear and urgent need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach.

This legislation from both the House and Senate codifies and strengthens US leadership in global pandemic preparedness and response by improving coordination and alignment across the administration, departments, and agencies for a whole-of-government approach to global health security. Critically, it authorizes $5 billion over five years to support global pandemic preparedness and response efforts.

“With the passage of this legislation, Congress is ensuring that the US government’s leadership on global pandemic preparedness and response is institutionalized and maintained across agencies and administrations,” says Heather Ignatius, PATH’s Managing Director of Advocacy and Public Policy. “Now, when the next crisis strikes—and it will—we stand a better chance of leading an equitable and efficient response.”

“Now, when the next crisis strikes—and it will—we stand a better chance of leading an equitable and efficient response.”
— Heather Ignatius, Managing Director, Advocacy and Public Policy, PATH

This new legislation seeks to ensure that bilateral global health assistance programs effectively contribute to the strengthening of health systems for global health security and pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. It calls for coordination across US global health programs to support the establishment and strengthening of early warning systems at the country, regional, and international levels that use innovative tools to track, document, analyze, and forecast infectious disease threats with epidemic and pandemic potential.

It also authorizes US participation and investment in a new Financial Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response. The fund will help ensure the world is better prepared for the next health emergency by securing the funding and resources needed to lead an effective global response. We once again applaud early leadership and commitments from several key donors, including the Biden administration and several US congressional champions.

As we celebrate this achievement, PATH commits to working with our partners to ensure that US leadership and coordination is maintained in global pandemic preparedness and response.