These bonds were supposed to help fight diseases like coronavirus. They've never paid out

Source(s)
Cable News Network

By Hanna Ziady

Three years ago, the World Bank issued new bonds to raise funds that could be used to help poor countries fight pandemics. The money is still sitting on the sidelines.

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One $225 million bond covers influenza and coronavirus outbreaks and now pays interest of over 8% a year. A second $95 million bond covers ailments such as Ebola and Lassa Fever, as well as coronavirus, paying investors interest of nearly 13% annually. Both are scheduled to mature on July 15.

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But critics claim that conditions needed to trigger payouts are far too onerous, preventing or delaying the arrival of much needed help. They point to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as one example where the bonds haven't worked. The coronavirus hasn't yet triggered a payment, either.

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Payouts from the World Bank's pandemic bonds will be triggered if, at least 12 weeks after the start of the outbreak, the number of confirmed cases is still growing and the virus has killed at least 20 people outside China, according to Scott Lothian, an investment manager at Baillie Gifford, one of the investors in the bonds.

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