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World Bank Says More Funding Needed to Fight Bird Flu


The World Bank says the global fight against bird flu needs at least $1.2 billion in extra funding over the next few years.

The World Bank issued the alert in a report that will be presented at a bird flu meeting and donor summit later this week in the West African country of Mali.

The report says the largest increases in needs are in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, reflecting both the spread of the bird flu disease to those regions and the poor condition of local veterinary and public health services.

The paper also says quickly and adequately compensating poultry farmers whose birds are culled could help improve reports of the disease.

The H5N1 virus has killed more than 140 people since 2003 and forced the culling of about 250 million poultry birds.

The virus first struck Asian poultry, but has since been identified in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The new appeal for funding is on a top of the $1.9 billion pledged at a meeting in Beijing last January.

The World Bank-led report was also administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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