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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 11:36, August 26, 2006
Indonesia asks for international contribution to fighting bird flu
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Indonesia, the most bird flu hard-hit country, demanded more international contribution in the form of funds and expertise to check the growth of avian influenza virus, otherwise the outbreak would have a serious impact on the international community, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here Friday.

Jusuf Kalla said that most of the donors' promises had not been realized until now, while the H5N1 virus has been rapidly developing in the vast archipelago country , with 46 out of 60 contracted people having died and making the country register the highest fatalities from this virus in the world.

"We ask the world's responsibility, the international community must be involved on this," he said.

"Bird flu is not only the problem of Indonesia, (but) it is the world (problem too)," Kalla added.

The chairman of the Agency for Preventing Bird Flu and Preparation against Pandemics, Bayu Krisna Murthi, said that Indonesia lacks funds for arresting the growth of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, which experts fear now could mutate to a certain form that can be transmitable among human, resulting in a pandemic.

More than 40 million people were killed in a bird flu pandemic between 1918 to 1919, the World Health Organization said.

Bayu said that the disbursement of the international pledges was slow, while the fatalities caused by the virus has been on the rise.

"Ideally we need 900 million U.S. dollars for three years, starting from 2006. Our ability is only to provide about 150-160 million U.S. dollars for three years," he told Xinhua.

Indonesia had received 36 million U.S. dollars assistance from the international community through technical institutions, such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, in the form of goods and services.

"The funds are far from sufficient each year, as we need about 300 million U.S. dollars a year, but we only have 50 million U.S. dollars from our budget," he said.

"If Indonesia fails (to check the virus development), it will have an impact on the international community," he said.

Indonesia has become an international interest after the discovering of the biggest cluster in Karo district in the country 's North Sumatra province in May, that killed seven people linked by blood.

The World Health Organization has said that the virus has been out of control now as it has spread to nearly all parts of the world.

Source: Xinhua

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