THE International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has said another pandemic might be around the corner, and countries are “dangerously unprepared”.
The world’s largest humanitarian network said this in a report published on Monday, January 30.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, led to a total death toll of over 6.5 million people across the globe.
Despite this, countries are still ill-equipped to protect their citizens should another pandemic break out, the group said.
According to IFRC, countries must be prepared for multiple health hazards as societies can only be resilient by planning for more than one disaster.
“As of the time of writing, all countries remain dangerously unprepared for future outbreaks.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic showing the world the importance of being prepared, countries are not ready for another Public health emergency.
“The next pandemic could be just around the corner: if the experience of Covid-19 won’t quicken our steps towards preparedness, what will?”
The Red Cross urged governments to update pandemic preparedness plans by adopting a new treaty and revising International Health Regulations.
The group also asked governments to increase domestic health finance by 1 per cent of the gross domestic product and global health finance by at least $15 billion annually.
IFRC tied the rise in climate-related disasters to waves of disease outbreaks, noting that COVID-19 was just one.
Future health crises could collide with increasingly likely climate-related disasters, according to the group.
The humanitarian movement also said significant hazards harm vulnerable people the most.