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Home Industry News EU adds 80m euros bird flu fund

EU adds 80m euros bird flu fund

16th January 2006

The European Commission is to pledge ?80 million to fight the spread of the avian flu virus in developing countries.

The cash will be put forward at this week’s international pledging conference held in Beijing, where the UN hopes to raise $1.5 billion.

Health and consumer protection commissioner Markos Kyprianou said: “The EU puts its money where its mouth is. The commission will provide a significant grant in addition to pledges from individual member states.

“We now have to work with the countries most affected by the avian influenza outbreak to increase surveillance, foster consistency between the veterinary and public health sides, boost contingency planning, and ensure co-ordination and exchange of information.

“That is the way to ultimately defeat this avian epidemic and prevent it from turning into a human influenza pandemic of a new and potentially devastating kind.”

The ?80 million contribution will be made up of ?50 million from the commission’s 2006 External Relations budget and ?30 million from the European Development Fund, which remains subject to approval, expected by April, of Asian, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP).

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, commissioner for external relations and neighbourhood policy, added: “Next week’s conference represents a key step in the global response to the spread of avian flu.

” I am sure that the significant funds that the commission is providing will give crucial support to the most needy countries in Asia, Africa, and Neighbourhood Countries in Europe, Middle East and North Africa and will reinforce their strategies for tackling avian flu and averting the threat of a pandemic.”

track© Adfero Ltd

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