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Donors pledge $406 million to fight avian flu

first_imgDec 7, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – International donors at this week’s New Delhi conference on avian and pandemic influenza pledged about $406 million, including $195 million from the United States, to fight H5N1 avian flu, according to news reports.The latest pledges will bring the total promised by donors and multilateral development banks (MDBs) in the past 2 years to about $2.7 billion. A report released last week by the United Nations and the World Bank said a total of about $2.3 billion was pledged at conferences in Beijing in January 2006 and in Bamako, Mali, in December 2006.When the New Delhi conference opened Dec 4, the World Bank predicted a need for $1.2 billion to help countries battle avian flu over the next 2 to 3 years, according to a Dec 6 report by Agence France-Presse (AFP).Peter Harrold, acting vice president of the World Bank, called the new pledges a “very encouraging response,” AFP reported. “There is still a gap, but this is more than what we had anticipated,” he said.The United States had previously pledged $434 million to the avian flu fight. In New Delhi, US officials promised another $195 million, raising the total to $629 million, according to a Dec 6 Reuters report.More than $1 billion paid out Of the $2.3 billion previously pledged for the avian flu battle, $1.7 billion (72%) has been committed and more than $1 billion (43%) has been paid out, according to the UN–World Bank report, which was released Nov 29 in advance of the conference. About $600 million remained uncommitted as of the end of June.The report says the original $2.3 billion included $1.326 billion in grants from various donors, including the European Commission, and $983 million from MDBs, mostly in loans.Of the grant money, all but $57 million had been committed by the end of June, and 74% of the committed funds have been paid out, the report says. Of the committed funds, $282 million is going to countries, $433 million to international organizations, $206 million to regional organizations, and $333 million to other recipients.More than half of the mostly loan money pledged by MDBs—$592 million out of $983 million—had not yet been committed as of the end of June, according to the report. The reasons, it says, include the time it takes to prepare “integrated country programs” and the preference of developing countries to use grants rather than loans to finance their integrated programs.Fifty-six percent of the country-specific money committed so far is going to East Asia and South Asia, the report states. 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 only 2%.This week’s meeting, called 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 organizations, according to AFP.Long-term efforts neededA major theme of the conference, as well as of the UN-World Bank report, was the need to shift from focusing on emergency responses to avian flu to developing medium- and long-term strategies to deal with H5N1 and the threat of a human flu pandemic, according to news reports.The UN report says many countries have improved their responses to avian flu in the past year, but the disease remains entrenched in several countries and the threat of a pandemic is the same now as it was in mid 2005, when it became a high-profile issue.John E. Lange, who headed the US delegation to the conference, said in a Dec 4 speech there, “While we have made progress in the years since the virus first appeared, we now need to shift some of our efforts from the ’emergency’ phase of identifying and dealing with avian outbreaks to a greater emphasis on long-term capacity-building to improve both animal and human health systems as they relate to the H5N1 avian influenza virus and other emerging and reemerging infectious and zoonotic diseases.”Lange also touched on the dispute with Indonesia over the sharing of H5N1 virus samples, though he didn’t name the country. “We call on all countries to share virus samples freely, without encumbrances, for the benefit of global health,” he said.Maintaining that H5N1 isolates provided by developing countries are used to make vaccines those countries can’t afford, Indonesia has shared very few samples with the World Health Organization over the past year.India praised for compensation programIn other news from the conference, India was praised for its “swift, fair and efficient” compensation of poultry owners whose birds were culled because of outbreaks in 2006 and 2007, according to a Dec 5 report from the Times of India.David Nabbaro, the UN’s senior influenza coordinator, was quoted as saying, “India’s philosophy to compensate quickly and fairly at the district level is commendable. That’s why farmers came out in the open and declared when their birds died.”Indian Health Minister A. Ramadoss said the government paid about $19.5 million in compensation in 2006 and $2.2 million in 2007, according to the Times. Indian officials said the government paid poultry owners the market value of their birds.The UN–World Bank report said that in a survey, 66% of countries reported having prepared plans for compensating poultry owners for culled birds, but legislation and administrative procedures lag behind.Other findings cited in the report:144 countries have prepared an avian flu plan, a pandemic plan, or an integrated plan for both threats27% of countries said they have no capacity to detect and confirm human H5n1 cases41% of countries have tested pandemic plans in simulation exercises50% of countries have done some planning for maintaining their infrastructure during a pandemicAt the end of the conference, the Indian government released a suggested planning template for countries to use in preparing for avian and pandemic flu. The “Vision and Road Map” includes 21 goals that India proposes countries try to accomplish by the end of 2008.See also: 12-page synopsis of UN–World Bank reporthttp://www.undg.org/docs/8097/english%20pn.pdfFull text of 91-page UN–World Bank reporthttp://www.undg.org/docs/8097/UN-WB%20AHI%20Progress%20Report%20final%20PRINT.pdfTranscript of speech by John E. Langehttp://www.state.gov/g/avianflu/96208.htmIndia’s proposed “Vision and Road Map” for preparednesshttp://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=33862last_img read more

$500K dry blocks on offer at Sanctuary Cove

first_imgThe window of opportunity is closing on Mulpha Sanctuary Cove’s most affordable premium land offering as buyers rush to secure their place in the spectacular golf and marina resort community.THE window of opportunity is closing on Mulpha Sanctuary Cove’s premium land offering as buyers rush to secure their place in the golf and marina resort community. Only a limited number of dry blocks priced from $500,000 remain in stage two The Greens precinct as Sanctuary Cove continues a record-breaking year with land sales reaching $100 million. Mulpha Sanctuary Cove general manager, international sales John Hughes said land buyers had been quick to identify the value of The Greens offering, with 50 per cent of blocks sold since they were launched to the market last year. Mr Hughes said sales activity had accelerated at Sanctuary Cove in the past six months as more locally based land buyers weighed anchor in the prestigious community. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North6 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“We are seeing more Gold Coast owner-occupiers deciding to build their dream home at The Greens,” he said.“They are a mix of young families through to retirees who appreciate the quality of the Sanctuary Cove offering and recognise the terrific value that the current stage of The Greens represents. “These buyers are making the most of the opportunity to secure premium land at Sanctuary Cove at some of the lowest prices ever available.” The Greens include lots ranging from 447sq m to 881sq m. They will be priced from $499,000.Mr Hughes said the forthcoming stage three of The Greens would feature larger blocks priced from $700,000.“While stage three will offer larger block sizes it will be a big step-up in pricing,” he said.“This really underscores the value of this current, but quickly diminishing offering at The Greens.”last_img read more

Deputies Shoot Man After Exchange of Gunfire Near Rehab Center

first_imgBroward Sheriff’s deputies reportedly shot a man following a tense situation on Friday.The incident occurred in a parking lot near Wilton Manors Health and Rehabilitation Center, at 2675 N. Andrews Ave., following an exchange of gunfire with the deputies at around 2:30 p.m.According to the report, the BSO’s Crime Suppression Team from the Deerfield Beach district was attempting to detain an armed male in reference to a narcotics investigation. Two deputies ended up firing their weapons.Oakland Park Fire Rescue spokesman David Rafter said the man had “gunshot wounds to chest.”According to Miami television station WPLG, cellphone video taken from inside the rehabilitation center shows four officers surrounding a silver car with their guns drawn. In addition, overhead video showed the car’s windshield riddled with more than a dozen bullet holes.The wounded man, whose condition is available, was taken to Broward Health Medical Center. No deputies were injured in the shooting.Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.The two deputies who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative assignment pending further investigation.Veda Coleman Wright, Public Information Officer for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, says that no one inside the rehabilitation center was ever in any danger, and detectives are not looking for any other suspects.last_img read more

Wanted: Your Best Thrifty Thurston Ideas

first_imgFacebook15Tweet0Pin0Since May 2012, ThurstonTalk has been sharing stories about inexpensive family fun around Thurston County. Now, it’s your chance to share your Thrifty Thurston ideas with us.We want to know where you and your family go to enjoy inexpensive fun around Thurston County. Submit your best Thrifty Thurston idea by noon on Monday, December 15, for a chance to have your Thrifty Thurston idea published on ThurstonTalk and you will be entered to win a family pack of four ticket to the Hands On Children’s Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve party.last_img

Virat Kohli retains test batting crown and Ajinkya Rahane joins him in the top…

first_imgImage Courtesy: AFPAdvertisement fev4nNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsd7dWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E8w5lr( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) keg9tWould you ever consider trying this?😱8x1rCan your students do this? 🌚2h6Roller skating! Powered by Firework Since usurping Steve Smith to gain the no. 1 spot in International Cricket Council (ICC)’s Test batting ranking list last December, Virat Kohli entered the new decade with his rank unruffled. With 928 ratings, the Team India skipper is still leading the list, while teammate Ajinkya Rahane holds his position at 8th with a rating of 759.Advertisement Image Courtesy: AFPAlong with brilliant spell in the recent limited overs cricket, Virat Kohli had an amazing performance during last year’s Test series against South Africa and Bangladesh. The 31 year put up an astounding 254 against the Proteas in October 2019, and an impressive knock of 136 against Bangladesh in the historical pink ball Test match in November at Eden Gardens.Eearlier expressing his love for the Test format, Kohli has been revered by pundits and supporters for endorsing red ball cricket in the country, and even Ravi Shastri, the head coach was full of praise for the skipper for his leadership role.Advertisement Former Aussie captain Steve Smith is trailing behind Kohli in second position with a rating of 911. The previous world no. 1 reached the top spot after a brilliant Ashes last year, but post his place to Kohli after a lacklustre Pakistan series.Ajinkya Rahane, who dropped from 6th position to 8th, hasn’t got recent call ups for the Men in Blues in white ball cricket, but is still the Test squad’s middle order run machine. In the Bangladesh Test series back in November, the 31 year old put up a combined total of 137 runs. He was India’s second highest scorer in India’s first innings in the first test at Holkar Stadium, and scored his 22nd half century of red ball cricket in the second test at Eden Gardens.Advertisement Cheteshwar Pujara, previously wanked world no. 4, went down to 6th position in the list with 791 ratings. The 31 year old scored 81 in the first South Afirca Test match, followed a 58 in the second one in October. In November, he scored two half centuries in the Bangladesh test series.Following the closure of the ongoing T20 and thereafter the 3 match ODI series against New Zealand, the much awaited Test is coming next month, starting on 21st February at the Basin Reserve cricket ground in Wellington.Also read-Virat Kohli reacts after India pulls off massive chase: ‘80% of the crowd was behind us!’ Advertisementlast_img read more