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UN Says $1.5 Billion Needed for Poor States in Flu Pandemic

by VR Sreeraman on September 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM
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 UN Says $1.5 Billion Needed for Poor States in Flu Pandemic

The United Nations said Wednesday that some 1.48 billion dollars in funding is required to help poor countries deal with the swine flu pandemic.

The funds would pay for vaccines, programmes to strengthen low income countries' readiness to cope with the pandemic and costs of support provided by specialist UN agencies or partner agencies, said the UN in a document published Wednesday.

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The lion's share of funds -- 1.14 billion dollars -- would go towards vaccines and medicines while 240 million would fund readiness programmes.

Some 80 million dollars would go towards support provided by agencies while another 20 million dollars has been set aside as a "contingency fund" in case countries needed additional vaccines or antivirals.
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According to the document, some 85 developing countries have no means to access vaccines from other sources.

"These are the countries to whom WHO proposes to provide sufficient vaccine to cover five to 10 percent of the population," said the UN.

At least 3,486 people have died from the A(H1N1) virus since it was uncovered in April, according to data from the WHO.

Most of the deaths had occurred in the Americas region, where 2,625 fatalities have been recorded.

Source: AFP
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