The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) on Wednesday donated 1.2 million U.S. dollars to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for a communication project on bird flu response and pandemic influenza preparedness in Cambodia, a UNICEF statement said.
Under the project, a range of communication initiatives will aim at maintaining high awareness about bird flu among the Cambodian population, and achieving actual behavior change, the statement said.
The overall goal of the project is to teach people simple steps to keep the virus at bay, it said, adding that UNICEF and its partners will build on the existing momentum and the relationship established so far with provincial and local officials, religious leaders, school teachers and community leaders.
The project is a welcome support to the national authorities, which are responsible for developing appropriate communication strategies, said Cambodian Minister of Health Nuth Sokhom, who presided over a signing ceremony on Wednesday between AusAID, which manages the Australian Government's overseas aid program, and the UNICEF.
UNICEF's work on this issue is part of the coordinated United Nations response to avian influenza that includes close collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, the statement said.
So far, bird flu has killed seven people in Cambodia, and the latest toll occurred last month.