Bird Flu Alarm

2006-01-17-China calls for global co-op on fighting bird flu

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-01-17-China calls for global co-op on fighting bird flu

A senior Chinese government official on Tuesday urged the international community to raise more money to help developing nations' fight against bird flu.

"Many countries and institutions affected by avian influenza are facing pretty large financial gaps, which will seriously hamper their efforts of prevention and control," Qiao Zonghuai, China's deputy foreign minister, said at a two-day international pledging conference on avian and human pandemic influenza.

"When the nest is overturned, no egg stays unbroken," Qiao said,adding no one country would stay safe in case of an avian influenza pandemic.

He said efforts at the country level is the basis of preventing and controlling bird flu.

"The international community should increase aid to the disease-affected countries and help them improve capability of preventing and controlling avian influenza," he said.

The vice foreign minister also urged participants to mobilize international organizations and private sectors to join the combat against bird flu.

The World Bank announced earlier that the total fund for a global fight against bird flu is estimated to range between 1.2 to1.4 billion U.S. dollars.

The bank said most of the fund is likely to be put into the densely-populated East Asia and the Pacific region, the remainder will mostly go to Europe, Central Asia and Africa.

The global conference is aimed at mobilizing countries and organizations to pool financial resources and set up a coordinating and management mechanism for donations.

Qiao said as one of the earliest countries which reported the bird flu epidemic, China is ready to show its most determined political commitment and join efforts with other countries to ensure the donors' meeting a complete success.

Sources with the Foreign Ministry said that China has offered technical, financial and material assistance on bird flu prevention and control to its neighboring countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Indonesia. Enditem

Understanding Avian Influenza