Subject: Lusa: Dili needs 5 million USD to combat bird flu, says Minister

Dili needs 5 million USD to combat bird flu, says Minister

East Timor urgently needs 5 million USD to prevent and combat bird flu, Dili's Agriculture Minister, Estanlislau Aleixo da Silva, said Tuesday at a crisis meeting in Beijing aimed at garnering donor funds to fight the often fatal virus.

In comments to Lusa, da Silva said Timor has no basic infrastructures, such as laboratories for analyses of samples. He said the figure of 5 million USD had been calculated by the World Health Organization.

The funds would be applied over a five-year period to raise the ability of Timor's health services to combat bird flu, he added.

Da Silva was speaking at a meeting of avian influenza experts in the Chinese capital, jointly organized by the Beijing authorities, the European Union and the World Bank in an effort to amass a war chest of up to 1.4 billion USD to fight the virus and prepare for a possible pandemic strain. (Lusa)


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