US$28 million in World Bank AI funds approved

The Avian and Human Influenza Facility of the World Bank announced today that six grants with a combined value of US$28 million have been approved to assist some 13 countries in five regions to fight the threat posed by avian and human influenza:

• US$10 million for Vietnam to provide for early detection and response to human cases, and prepare for medical consequences of a possible human pandemic;
• US$10 million for Indonesia to reduce the amount of virus circulating in the environment and its possible mutation to a human-to-human transmittal form;
• US$5 million for Afghanistan to control infections among birds and domestic poultry, and prepare responses to possible human infection and related emergencies;
• US1.5 million for Tajikistan to minimize the threat to humans by highly pathogenic avian influenza infection and other zoonoses.
• US$1 million to assist the Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance in facilitating information exchanges among Jordan, Israel and West Bank and Gaza;
• US$0.5 million to strengthen the Southern Agricultural Council for Avian Flu Preparedness, in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Five of the six grants required a separate review by the Facility's Advisory Board as part of the approval process. Mr David Potten, AHI Facility Administrator, said, “The Bank is pleased that Facility resources are quickly being extended to such a broad range of potentially affected areas, and, in particular, that these grants are designed to foster intra-regional cooperation, given the emerging threats of trans-boundary animal health issues.”
The Avian and Human Influenza Facility is a multidonor, grant-making mechanism supported by the European Commission and seven other donors. It is dedicated to help countries prepare and implement integrated action plans designed to reduce the social and economic impact of avian influenza and minimize possible outbreak of a human flu pandemic.

Editor WorldPoultry

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