Minister of State Lenihan announces funding of €1 millionto help developing countries tackle avian flu
Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today announced a pledge of €1 million to help developing countries respond to the threat of avian influenza.
The announcement was made in advance of an International Pledging Conference in Beijing, organised to mobilise resources to assist low income countries deal with this threat.
Making the announcement, Minister of State Lenihan said,
“A coordinated international response to the threat of avian flu is essential. Ireland is taking part in that coordinated response, and fully supports the key role being played by the World Health Organisation.
The world's poorest countries need assistance if they are to play their part in that coordinated global effort. In that context, and as a gesture of solidarity, I am delighted to announce today, that Ireland will pledge €1 million to improve that capacity of low-income countries to respond.
€500,000 will be channelled through Ireland's aid programme in Africa and €500,000 will be channelled through the World Health Organisation.
Global health challenges require global responses. Ireland is playing its part in responding to international threats to health.”
The International Pledging Conference, currently taking place in Beijing, is co-sponsored by the Government of China, the European Commission and the World Bank.
Ireland's delegation to the Conference will be headed by Ireland's Ambassador to China and will include a health specialist from Development Cooperation Ireland, the Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs responsible for managing the official aid programme.
Support for the health sector is one of the key priorities for the Government's programme of cooperation with developing countries and, on average, accounts for more than 20% of official aid spending each year.
17th January 2006