The Crisis Management Center (CMC), a facility run by the FAO in close collaboration with the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), will provide animal disease analysis and information and deploy international resources to prevent and contain dangerous animal diseases. The current focus will be on highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, which continues to spread throughout the world.
The United States will provide $1.8 million to FAO to create the centre. Other contributors include France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
“All nations will benefit as we work to reduce the risk and spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.
“The international community has a responsibility to equip countries, particularly developing countries, with the expertise and resources necessary for a rapid and effective response to any possible animal disease outbreaks.”
A broad task
The FAO operations are aimed at:
- Strengthening of disease intelligence and emergency preparedness;
- Examining the role of migratory birds in the disease spread;
- Supporting broad awareness creation and risk communication;
- Analyzing the social and economic consequences of both the disease and its control;
- Strengthening field surveillance, laboratory capabilities, and global avian influenza surveillance and early warning capabilities;
- Advising governments and building capacities on disease surveillance and control.
Samuel Jutzi, head of FAO’s Animal Production and Health Division said: “The FAO/OIE Crisis Management Centre generously supported by USDA and a number of further donors serves to upscale these operations and render them more effective now that the H5N1 virus is present in at least 32 countries.”
The centre also will collaborate with the UN’s World Health Organization.
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