Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is taking the initiative to expand the use of existing funds for COVID-19 in ASEAN countries to prepare for future pandemics, Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Thursday."Previously, there was a fund for COVID-19, namely the ASEAN Fund for COVID-19, with a total amount of around US$17.7 million, some of which has already been used for COVID-19," he stated at the ASEAN Finance-Health Ministers Meeting (AFHMM) press conference in Jakarta. During the meeting, Indonesia proposed that the use of the existing funds be expanded, not only for COVID-19 but also for addressing future pandemics. "The gap in the existing funds has been calculated. However, there was a recommendation that the gap should be calculated thoroughly because each country has a budget for responding to future pandemics," he affirmed. Sadikin elaborated that ASEAN member countries currently have funds allocated for COVID-19. The Pandemic Fund Initiative is the response of ASEAN countries to integrate pandemic prevention and response in their respective countries and globally.
Source: Antara News Agency