For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 18, 2006
Statement on U.S. Pledge of $334 Million in Global Fight Against Bird Flu
In Focus: Pandemic Flu
Following on the President's announcement in October of his National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, the United States announced today in Beijing that it will provide $334 million to support the global campaign against the avian flu virus. This represents the largest single nation contribution to global avian flu efforts and will significantly expand technical assistance to countries threatened by the virus. Resources will be used to assist countries with national preparedness plans, to improve surveillance and response systems, to train local rapid-response teams and medical personnel, and to support public awareness campaigns to limit practices that contribute to the spread of the avian influenza virus. This funding is part of a broader commitment of the United States that totals $3.8 billion recently appropriated by Congress.
In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last September, President Bush announced the formation of an "International Partnership" to combat avian influenza and to deal with the threat of a possible human pandemic. He said the global community has "a moral duty to protect our citizens, and heal the sick, and comfort the afflicted." Over 90 nations and international organizations have participated in the Partnership and together partners have been able to elevate the political and financial profile of this issue globally and enhance transparency and reporting of avian flu cases in affected regions. The contribution announced today will further enhance global collaboration on this growing threat.
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