Replying to questions of Vorkink noted that the Bank launched a global program to combat the effects of avian influenza, stating that Turkey has priority under this global program.
Vorkink underlined that the Global Program for Avian Influenza Control and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Program has been designed flexibly to provide aggregate financing from the World Bank of up to 500 million USD globally for projects in any of World Bank member countries on short notice, indicating, “the objective of the program is to provide financing to enable countries to minimize the threat posed to humans by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), and to prepare for, control, and respond to influenza pandemics and other infectious diseases emerging in humans, including other diseasesthat humans may acquire from animals.”
He said that the program is comprised of three phases: prevention, preparedness and planning, and response and containment, noting that it offers a comprehensive menu of interventions which can be tailored to actual needs in each country.
“At an HPAI conference co-hosted by the World Bank, the EU and China in Beijing on January 18th and 19th, total pledging of funds from donors is expected to exceed 1 billion USD to help middle income and developing countries, including Turkey, deal with avian influenza,” said Vorkink.
Vorkink noted that the project amount is tentatively set at 30 million USD, with up to half of this coming from the World Bank, but these numbers may change and increase in view of the current outbreaks in Turkey.
“Turkey has taken the right steps to combat the current outbreaks. The project being discussed with the government would look at further ways to deal with the costs on the veterinary side and human health measures to help Turkey deal with the current or future outbreaks,” he stressed.