U.S. and FAO continue joint battle against infectious disease threats

Tuesday 17 August 2010

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is renewing its support of FAO's efforts to combat highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and other emerging infectious diseases, the UN agency announced today. USAID's commitment totals US$26.3 million for the period running from October 2011 to September 2012.

The funds will support continuing FAO technical assistance to strengthen HPAI surveillance and outbreak response capacities in priority countries and regions where the disease still persists and continues to kill people, impact poultry production, and undermine the food security of millions of poor farmers. Priority countries include Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Viet Nam.

The funding will also be used to strengthen animal health laboratory capacities as well as animal surveillance and response capacities in ‘hot-spot' regions in order to combat other emerging disease threats, in addition to HPAI.

An effective partnership

"This new funding marks the continuation of an FAO-USAID partnership which has been at the forefront in the battle to prevent and control HPAI and other transboundary animal diseases and zoonoses," said Juan Lubroth, FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer. "The partnership began in 2005, at the outset of the HPAI emergency and has continued over the past five years through the commitment by USAID of US$132.5 million, benefiting more than 90 countries worldwide, more than 60 of which were ultimately affected by HPAI."

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