Thank you, Chair,
Norway appreciates the report and the description of how a pooled fund for research and development for diseases that disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries could look like. This is a key element of the strategic work plan to follow up on the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group.
The implementation of a few health research and development demonstration projects is another component. We appreciate the emphasis on maximizing opportunities to use the demonstration projects to inform the development of the final research and development fund. Broad mobilization of funding, including from non-traditional donors, is one of the potential successes that the demonstration project process should be able to show.
That is why Norway, like Switzerland, has chosen a model to finance the demonstration projects that combines a direct contribution of 5 million NOK with a matching fund of another 5 million NOK. The matching fund will be used to increase contributions from low- and middle-income countries with 50% of their contributions, up to the total of 5 million NOK.
This said, we would like to underline the need to avoid double counting of matching funds, meaning that a contribution from a low or middle-income country can only be matched once. We expect the secretariat to make sure this will be the case and also to make information on the funding situation available to Member States on an ongoing basis.
With this we hope to incentivize others to contribute to the funding of the demonstration projects and to see countries step up to our shared responsibility to fund research and development for diseases that disproportionately affect people in low- and middle-income countries, as referred to by Switzerland.