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January 19, 2006

$1.9 billion pledged for fighting bird flu

Alarmed by the spread of bird flu beyond East Asia, nations pledged nearly $2 billion Wednesday to fight the disease, far exceeding expectations at the fundraising conference in Beijing.

[...] The United States pledged $334 million, the second highest amount after the World Bank's $500 million. The United States also said it will invest billions of dollars over the next three years to develop a human vaccine.

Japan donated $159 million, while China — which has reported eight human infections, five of which have been fatal — said it would donate $10 million.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao also promised that China would work with the international community and be open and forthcoming with information and samples of the virus.

"Money is not the only answer, but without it nothing can be done," said Dr. Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World Health Organization.

On Tuesday, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said the EU had increased its commitment to $121 million, about $20 million more than it announced last week.

Read the full article here.

Posted by dymaxion at January 19, 2006 09:32 PM

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