A Joint Government-Donor Meeting in support of the 2006-2010 Vietnam Integrated Operational Program for Avian and Human Influenza (the Green Book) was held here Friday during which donors pledged over 60 million U.S. dollars for the 2006-2008 period.
The meeting was hosted by Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the World Bank. High-level representatives from the Vietnamese government, 23 donor countries, 7 international agencies and 3 international non-governmental organizations attended the meeting which centered on challenges in controlling avian and human influenza.
The total cost of the five-year program was estimated at 250 million U.S. dollars, of which about 30 million dollars worth of officially development assistance per annum was required.
The meeting took stock of the specific short-to-medium-term objectives in the animal health sector, which are to: strengthen veterinary services to control highly pathogenic avian influenza ( HPAI) and other potential zoonotic disease threats; control HPAI using a cost-effective phased approach that addresses each sector; and plan poultry sector restructuring so that it enables better control of HPAI while minimizing loss of livelihood and environmental pollution.
Over the longer term, Vietnam plans to restructure its poultry industry by improving bio-security and food safety along the market chain from producer to consumer, while protecting the livelihoods of poor farmers and preserving the environment.
The meeting also discussed the issues facing the human health sector with the specific objectives identified as: minimize the incidence and mortality of human avian influenza infections; reduce the risk of an influenza pandemic occurring; and take other steps necessary to reduce the impact of a human influenza pandemic.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in his opening speech that Vietnam has already achieved good initial results, with no new case of avian influenza in more than five months and no humans affected in the last six months.
"These achievements show that the avian influenza epidemic can be controlled if there is political determination from the highest level down to the community level and strong popular support at all levels," he said.