Infectious diseases do not respect borders. Because they have potentially grave social and economic consequences, cooperation between states and regions is crucial to limiting the spread of infectious diseases worldwide.
Started in 2009 with generous funding from the Peter G Peterson Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Skoll Global Threats Fund and NTI , CORDS was designed to serve as a platform for a global disease surveillance network. The network is designed to enhance communication and cooperation as regional disease networks, states and global health organizations respond to future pandemic outbreaks and biological weapon threats.
Under CORDS, regional authorities, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners in health security share best practices to promote the most effective responses to emerging threats.
The network also understands that risks are magnified in regions racked by poverty and conflict where sufficient aid is not available. CORDS has recognized the resources vacuum in these areas and has created partnerships in the Middle East, Southern Africa, and South-Eastern Asia.
In 2010 and 2011, regional network members and health specialists from around the world convened to determine how to improve global capacity for disease surveillance. Foundation Mérieux, based in Annecy, France, hosted the conference as an in-kind donation.