Ankara, November 7, 2006 – The World Bank signed today a grant agreement documents with the United States Government, whereby the U.S. will provide $1,000,000 to the World Bank to be used to support the Avian Influenza and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project. The grant agreement was signed by the Country Director of the World Bank Mr. Andrew Vorkink and the U.S. Ambassador Mr. Ross Wilson. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mehdi Eker witnessed the ceremony.
The overall purpose of the Grant is to provide support to the overall project by funding activities under animal health and public awareness. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has agreed to support in the amount of $1 million to restructure the backyard poultry industry and develop of the communication strategy in Turkey.
During the grant agreement signing ceremony, Country Director of the World Bank Andrew Vorkink stated that the Bank is happy to see strong show of support by the US Government in contributing to fighting against Avian Influenza in Turkey. Vorkink said: “It is extremely important for us to receive US support to this vital project today. As we all know, the continuing outbreaks of HPAI influenza which began in late 2003 in several Southeast Asian Countries and the ones that have occurred more recently in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have affected lives and been disastrous to the poultry industry and have raised serious global public health concerns.” Vorkink also added: “With interventions proposed in this project and in collaboration with other national and international partners, it should be possible to minimize a pandemic’s consequences in Turkey through advance preparation to meet the challenge of avian influenza. The World Bank is pleased to help Turkey in this project, which will also give assurances to visitors and tourists to Turkey and residents that Turkey has a comprehensive plan to help stop the spread of future bird flu outbreaks if they occur in the future”.
The total loan amount of the Avian Influenza and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project (AIHP) for Turkey is US$34 million (Euro 27.5 million) through which the World Bank is providing assistance to the Turkish Government to minimize the threat in Turkey posed to humans by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infection and other transmittable diseases in birds and domestic poultry and to prepare for the control and response to an influenza pandemic and other infectious disease emergencies in humans. The activities to be supported under the project will be grouped under Animal Health, Human Health, public awareness and coordination support. To achieve the goal, three areas will be supported:
- (i) prevention,
- (ii) preparedness and planning and,
- (iii) response and containment.
Achieving these goals will contribute to diminishing the burden of disease and loss of productivity in Turkey, limiting the regional spread of HPAI, and enhancing economic and social prospects at the national, regional and global levels.