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UPDATED: 13:18, December 27, 2006
World Bank grants loans to Uruguay to fight foot-and-mouth
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The World Bank has approved a 6.5 million U.S. dollars loan to Uruguay to help the South American nation remain free of foot-and-mouth disease, local media said on Tuesday.

An executive director at the World Bank said the loan would help create a farm inspection system that would cover the whole country. The loan will also help strengthen the national farm information system and integrate it with other government institutions.

Ivaro J. Soler, who heads the project, said that Uruguay would also improve the capacity of its laboratories to examine and diagnose samples.

Uruguay had previously received a 18.5-million-dollar loan from the World Bank in 2001, to help contain an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease. Uruguay lost millions in the outbreak, but has now achieved disease-free status after a vaccination campaign.

In 2005, Uruguayan meat exports were just under 463,000 tons and earned 891 million U.S. dollars of foreign exchange, making meat Uruguay's single largest export.

Source: Xinhua

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