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Markos Kyprianou

European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Safety

Remarks at the Concluding Press Conference

International Pledging Conference on avian and Human Pandemic Influenza
Beijing, 18 January 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for joining us here today for this press conference.

I would like to particularly thank our hosts, the Government of the People’s Republic of China, for their kind hospitality and excellent organisation during these last few days.

The European Commission has been honoured to co-sponsor this international pledging conference along with the Chinese government and the World Bank.

Today at the conclusion of the Beijing International Pledging Conference, I am glad to announce that the total amount pledged by the International Community amounts to 1.9 billion US Dollars.

This is a significant achievement we all can be proud of for several reasons.

We have covered the estimated overall financing gap of around 1.2 billion US Dollars.

Nearly 1 billion US Dollars of this has been pledged in grants.

The European Union has done its part in this respect. The total pledge of the European Commission is 100 million EURO or over 122 million US Dollars. The EU Member States have pledged over 114 million EURO, or nearly 140 million US Dollars. The total from the European Union is therefore around 214 million EURO, or almost 260 million US Dollars.

I also want to pay tribute to the pledges made by our hosts, the People’s Republic of China, as well as the Russian Federation, the New EU Member States as well as of some South East Asian countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. It clearly demonstrates world-wide solidarity and seals our international partnership.

The international community has also fully responded to the call for grants made by FAO, OiE and WHO.

900 millionUS dollars of loans is available to allow countries to address both the short term and longer term sector reform agenda. We welcome this important contribution from Multilateral Development Banks, particularly from the World Bank and the Asian and African Development Banks.

Last but not least, the total amount of 1.85 billion US dollars provides flexibility to support other countries which may experience outbreaks as the disease continues to spread.

I also want to commend the commitment of beneficiary countries to mobilise their own technical and financial resources to address Avian Influenza and prepare for a possible Human Influenza Pandemic.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Harmonising donor support and pooling resources to align with country owned strategies is the most effective way to achieve our common goals.

The global community has taken on this challenge, and we have exceeded expectations.

Now we need to act, and the pledges made today will play a vital role in tackling this threat and stopping a potential pandemic in its tracks.

I thank you for your attention.

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