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March 2019
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Friday, 22 March 2019
Fighting the disease in animals is crucial to win the battle against the virus
The avian influenza virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Near East regions through trade and movement of people and animals and it could be further spread by migratory birds particularly coming from Africa in the spring, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.
“FAO is concerned that with trade, the movement of people and animals and migratory birds, new countries could become infected,” said FAO Deputy Director-General David Harcharik in his opening speech at the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza in Bejing, China.
“Countries in Africa deserve special attention. In Turkey, the virus has already reached the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and there is a real risk of further spread. If it were to become rooted in the African countryside, the consequences for a continent already devastated by hunger and poverty could be truly catastrophic,” Harcharik said.
In endemic areas, the movements of animals, products and people should be controlled. FAO also urged all countries along the routes of migratory birds to be highly vigilant and be prepared for a further spread of the disease in animals.

Fighting the virus in animals
“Fighting the avian influenza virus in animals is the most effective and cost-effective way to reduce the likelihood of H5N1 mutating or reassorting to cause a human flu pandemic,” Harcharik said. “Containing bird flu in domestic animals – mostly chickens and ducks - will significantly reduce the risk to humans. Avian influenza should not only be considered as a human health issue, but as a human and animal health issue.” “Such a perception requires close cooperation between health and agricultural and veterinary authorities. Countries that foster close collaboration between the human health and agricultural sectors are likely to be the most successful in battling the disease,” Harcharik said. Centrally organised veterinary services are essential for successful bird flu control campaigns.
“Governments will fail in combating avian influenza if they don’t give their veterinary services the political support as well as the technical and financial means to fight the virus. Early warning systems, swift interventions and preventive measures will remain weak and inadequate without strong centrally organized veterinary services, ” Harcharik said.
Improved surveillance and detection will allow farmers and veterinary services to intervene quickly and apply the internationally recommended set of actions, such as culling, biosecurity measures and vaccination.
Risky farming practices such as mixing poultry species in farms or in live markets, should be changed as quickly as possible. The impact of these changes on the livelihoods of small farmers should be mitigated. The movements of animals, products and people from endemic areas to other regions should be strictly controlled.
“Funding will be needed for compensation schemes for farmers to encourage their participation in control campaigns,” Harcharik added.
For the global campaign, it is estimated that several hundred million dollars will be needed to combat the disease in animals. FAO plays a major role in this campaign.
To date, FAO has received about $28 million from donors, and since the onset of the bird flu crisis in 2003 the agency has spent more than $7 million from its own resources to help affected countries to design bird flu control programmes, supporting surveillance and laboratory diagnostics. Socio-economic studies on the impact of the disease and the cost of control programmes, as well as on options for restructuring, have been carried out.
Over the next three years, FAO will require at least $50 million more to continue its support for essential regional and global coordination and cooperation and some $80 million to assist countries to implement their national bird flu control programmes.
Wednesday, 18 January 2006
On 12-13 December 05 the Presidency Project "RICH, POOR WORLD" of the Austrian EU Platform of Development NGOs in collaboration with TRIALOG organised a conference on the impact of enlargement on development cooperation as the kick-off event for the Austrian EU presidency (Jan-Jun 2006).
The enlargement of the European Union from 15 to 25, and soon 27 Member States is transforming the priorities and mechanisms of European development cooperation, and future enlargement actions will accelerate these challenges. The highlights of the conference were:
- The experiences and perspectives of the European Commission as well as officials and civil society from both Old and New Member States.
- The current dynamics, and possibilities for future cooperation with the next wave of Accession Countries.
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Development Research Network (EUDN) organized their third conference: “Financing Development: What are the Challenges in Expanding Aid Flows?” on December 14th, 2005 in Paris.
On this occasion, academics and development practitioners from both the North and the South gathered to exchange views on these critical issues. The conference aimed at promoting a constructive dialogue between academic research and operational expertise, in order to explore lessons and perspectives for ODA policies.
In a context of international negotiations on increasing finance for aid and debt cancellations, the conditions for an efficient and productive use of additional resources devoted to the developing countries have been discussed at this conference. The debate tackled the following issues: How to assess the needs for aid? Which role for aid in weak institutional environments? What is the link between donor coordination and the uses of aid ? And which implications for national ownership of development policy? Which instrument for aid: grant or loan? What is the link between absorption capacity and incentive constraints within donor agencies?
Tuesday, 17 January 2006
Louis Michel to visit Liberia for the investiture of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected President on the African continent
Next Monday Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, will attend the investiture of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected to presidential office on the African continent. Mr Michel and the Liberian government will then sign the Country Strategy Document and the Indicative Programme approved by the Commission in November 2005. This will enable cooperation to be stepped up with a West African country ravaged by a 14-year war that claimed tens of thousands of victims and almost entirely destroyed its infrastructure
Africa’s “silent tsunamis”: Commission adopts humanitarian aid decisions worth €165.7 million
The European Commission has approved a series of humanitarian aid decisions for Africa worth €165.7 million. The bulk of the resources are allocated in ‘Global Plans’ for large-scale aid operations in 2006 in countries experiencing ongoing crises. Assistance is being provided for vulnerable people in ten countries: Burundi (€17 million), Chad (€13.5 million), Comoros (€600,000), the Democratic Republic of Congo (€38 million), Côte d’Ivoire (€5.2 million), Liberia (€16.4 million), Madagascar (€500,000), Sudan (€48 million), Tanzania (€11.5 million) and Uganda (€15 million). The funds are managed by the Humanitarian Aid department of the Commission under the responsibility of Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. Projects will be implemented by relief agencies operating in the target regions.