US to give FAO $44 million for avian flu control

Nov 11, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The United States will contribute another $44.4 million to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) campaign to prevent and control avian influenza, the FAO announced today.

The top recipients of the money will be Egypt, Indonesia, and Vietnam, the FAO said in a news release. Other beneficiaries will be Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and the regions of South Asia, West Africa, and Central Africa.

"Although many countries have successfully managed to get avian influenza under control, the virus remains present in ten countries and is mainly entrenched in countries like Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam," FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech said in the release. "The additional US funds will enable FAO to continue its work in support of countries that are still struggling to get the virus under control."

The contribution brings total US support for the FAO's avian flu program to $112.8 million, the agency reported. The United States is the leading donor of funds for the program, which operates in 96 countries, the statement said.

The FAO said funds contributed to its avian flu program total about $282.7 million. Other major donors are Sweden, Australia, Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, the World Bank, the UN Development Programme, the Asian Development Bank, and France.

The FAO announcement comes less than a month after the United States, at a donor conference in Egypt, pledged $320 million for international avian and pandemic flu preparedness and prevention. That pledge brought the total of delivered and promised US funds for avian flu to $949 million, the US State Department said at the time.

A report released by the State Department in October gave a breakdown of the $629 million in US funds pledged through December 2007 for avian and pandemic flu efforts. It listed the following sums:

  • $233 million for bilateral activities, including $51 million in bilateral cooperative agreements with national influenza centers and other laboratories in 39 countries
  • $128.5 million for regional programs, including support for global disease-detection sites
  • $102 million to international organizations, including $42 million to the World Health Organization and $10 million to build human vaccine production capacity in developing nations
  • $66.5 million for stockpiles of nonpharmaceutical supplies, including 1.6 million personal protection kits, about 250 lab specimen collection kits, and 15,000 decontamination kits
  • $66 million for international technical and humanitarian assistance and international coordination
  • $17.5 million for wild-bird surveillance and international research, including the US launch of the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance
  • $15.5 million for global communications and outreach

See also:

Nov 11 FAO news release

Oct 27 CIDRAP News story "Donors meeting nets funds for avian flu fight"

October 2008 US State Department report "Avian and Pandemic Influenza: The Global Response"

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