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$406 mln to fight bird flu pledged by donors

International donors have pledged approx. $406 mln to fight H5N1 bird flu at the recent New Delhi conference on avian influenza.

It has been reported that the latest pledges will bring the total amount promised by donors and multilateral development banks (MDBs) in the past 2 years to about $2.7 bln.
The new pledges are a "very encouraging response", says World Bank acting vice president, Peter Harrold. The World Bank predicted a need for $1.2 bln to help countries battle avian flu over the next 2-3 years. "There is still a gap, but this is more than what we had anticipated," he said.
The US had previously pledged $434 mln to the fight against bird flu. In New Delhi, US officials promised another $195 mln, raising the total to $629 mln.
Where the funds came from and where they are going
Of the $2.3 bln previously pledged, $1.7 bln has been committed and more than $1 bln has been paid out, according to a UN-World Bank report. The original $2.3 bln included $1.326 bln in grants from various donors, including the European Commission, and $983 mln from MDB, mainly loans.
Of the committed funds, $282 mln is going to countries, $433 mln to international organizations, $206 mln to regional organizations, and $333 mln to other recipients.
Coutry breakdown
So far. 56% is allocated to East Asia and South Asia. Another 24% is for Europe and Central Asia, with countries in Africa and the Middle East getting 18%. Latin America and the Caribbean are receiving 2%.
The New Delhi International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza drew more than 600 officials from over 100 countries and a number of international organisations.
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