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Invest in health care or face credit rating cuts, says
WHO's expert panel
"A pandemic like this one poses huge threats not just to financial stability but to the whole economic and
financial system", said Mario Monti
States that invest too little in public health could have their credit ratings cut, according to the chair of a World
Health Organization panel that wants a new global body set up to spell out the risks to financial stability from
The comments by Mario Monti come before a global health summit on Friday in Rome at which leaders of the
Group of 20 largest economies will discuss the coronavirus emergency and how to prevent major health crises in
"A pandemic like this one poses huge threats not just to financial stability but to the whole economic and financial
system," Monti told Reuters.
The former Italian prime minister chairs the WHO's Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable
Development, set up last September by the world health body's chief for Europe, Hans Kluge.
It has recommended the G20 establish a Global Health Board which would work to prevent future pandemics by
identifying risks, setting global benchmarks for preparedness, and promoting investment in health infrastructure. A
report by the panel cited estimates that more than $10 trillion has been lost globally because of the Covid-19
pandemic and lockdowns to control its spread that has closed businesses and confined people to their homes.
"Every effort to integrate beforehand health and finance will largely pay itself," Monti said in an interview.
The health board would be modeled after the Financial Stability Board, which was created after the 2008 financial
crisis and helped steer global regulation to reduce financial and banking risks, Monti said.