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AUM in Action

Investors Call for Global AMR Action

The Investor Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (IAAMR) initiative has published a statement urging government leaders and policymakers to address global AMR systemic risk, ahead of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting in September. The statement sets out seven key asks, including science-based guidance and targets, effective stewardship, integrated surveillance of drug usage, funding for research and development projects, and ensuring equitable global access. The new statement, which is open for investors and asset owners to sign on until 22 July, calls for collective action on an issue recognised as a leading threat to global human health and which claimed 1.27 million lives in 2019, according to medical journal The Lancet. That number is projected to rise to 10 million annually by 2050, driven by widespread misuse of antimicrobial drugs in humans and animals – leading to the emergence of new drug-resistant bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Despite progress made during the UNGA’s first high-level meeting on the subject in 2016, momentum has stalled, the IAAMR said – comparing AMR-related systemic risks to those associated with biodiversity loss and climate change. With related economic costs likely to reach US$100 trillion and lead to a 3.8% decrease in global GDP by 2050, the investor community is increasingly concerned about the impact on financial markets, economic stability and long-term value generation. “We urgently need a coordinated effort from investors, corporates, and policymakers to tackle the underlying drivers of AMR,” said Emma Berntman, Senior Engagement Specialist at the FAIRR Initiative – a founding member of the IAAMR. “Drawing on a deep understanding of the interconnections between food systems, health and the environment, investors recognise that this is an unmanaged global systemic risk and are calling for change to safeguard the efficacy of antibiotics for future generations – as well as ensure the resilience of investment portfolios.” The UK government recently rolled out a five-year plan to combat AMR, showing growing awareness of the issue among policymakers. “While this is encouraging, investors are calling for an international framework to ensure sustained and cohesive action to combat the AMR crisis,” the IAAMR said.

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