European Commission contributes to new World Bank AI trust fund
A new avian flu trust fund arrangement, called the Avian and Human
Influenza (AHI) Facility, has been agreed on by the European Commission (EC) and
the World Bank. The EC will contribute €46 million to the new multi-donor
financing mechanism administered by the Bank, delivering the funds that it
pledged at the Beijing Conference.
The EC contribution will finance grants to Central Asia, East and South Asia,
Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Littoral, with the aim of increasing human
influenza pandemic preparedness, and preventing or progressively controlling
avian influenza within these regions.
At the global level, the AHI
Facility will help countries to prepare and implement integrated country action
plans. The objective is to reduce the social and economic impact of avian
influenza and to minimize the possibility of a human flu pandemic in developing
countries with insufficient domestic resources and capacity to combat the
This commitment by the EC represents more than 80% of the
total commitment to date by donors to the Facility. A formal signing of the
underlying agreement between the Commission and the Bank is expected to take
place prior to the inaugural meeting of the Facility's Advisory Board in Vienna
on June 8th, to be co-chaired by the parties to this agreement.
are extremely gratified that the Commission has once again taken the lead â€¦ to
help in the preparation of country-based plans designed to protect vulnerable
populations against this real threat," said James Adams, Vice President for
Operations and Country Services at the World Bank.
Director-General of the European Commission's EuropeAid Cooperation Office
announced, "By signing this agreement with the World Bank, the European
Commission is delivering the funds that it pledged at the Beijing Conference to
combat avian influenza in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean
Neighbourhood. By working together with the Bank and other donors. I believe
that we can maximise the impact of EC funds on an issue that is of vital
importance to developing countries."
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