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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 25, 2008


U.S. International Avian and Pandemic Influenza Assistance Approaches $950 Million

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt: With the announcement of a new pledge of $320 million for avian and pandemic influenza assistance, U.S. support to international organizations and to more than 90 countries now totals $949 million. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula Dobriansky, announced the U.S. pledge today at the International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. 

The conference, organized by the Government of Egypt in cooperation with the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza, has drawn representatives of more than 100 nations and 20 international and regional organizations working together to confront the threat of the disease to human and animal health.  The meeting agenda includes a review of progress, sharing of best practices, and discussion of the challenges the virus poses to the world community.

In addition to Under Secretary Dobriansky, senior officials from the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Defense as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development comprise the U.S. delegation to the conference.

The United States is the largest single donor to the collaborative international effort to contain outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in domestic and wild birds in 62 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and to prepare for a potentially devastating global pandemic should the virus mutate to allow human-to-human transmission. 

U.S. assistance goes to bilateral, regional and international programs. It supports stockpiles of non-pharmaceutical supplies such as personal protective equipment, laboratory and decontamination kits for outbreak surveillance, investigation, response and containment; technical and humanitarian assistance and international coordination; wild bird surveillance; international research, including vaccine research; and global communications and outreach.

For further information on the U.S. international engagement on avian and pandemic influenza, see www.state.gov/g/avianflu and www.pandemicflu.gov.

2008/913

Released on October 25, 2008

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