The World Bank will grant Congo US$1 million to enhance its epidemiological watch in order to fund the action plan to curb bird flu, an official source said here on Tuesday.
The announcement was made by Congolese Agriculture and Livestock Minister, who is also chairman of the interdepartmental technical committee against the disease, Rigobert Maboundou, while speaking at a meeting aimed at reviving the activities of the national emergency plan against the avian flu epizootics.
The WB grant will cover a 12-month period and mainly seeks to build the operational capacities on prevention, epidemiological watch, early detection and organisation of the response in the outbreak of the disease.
The meeting of the interdepartmental technical committee helped participants exc hange on the bird flu progression in the world, take stock of the committee’s activities, assess the current procedure for granting licences to import poultry and poultry products and make some recommendations.
“We are committed in a continuous fight as long as the disease threatens us at the border and inside the country.
“In any case we have an institutional system involving the Prime Minister’s office, the ministries of agriculture and livestock, trade and procurement as well as the economic operators interested in the import of poultry products,” Maboundou said.
The Congolese government had earmarked FCFA2.7 billion for the fight against bird flu.
In 2006, about FCFA350m released had helped the interdepartmental committee to undertake significant actions on the ground-purchase of rolling stock and computer equipment, funding of training courses for the personnel in the livestock and animal health department.
Diagnosis laboratory capacity building, control on the marketing of the stocks of poultry products and raising populations’ awareness, the setting up of watchdogs in districts are also part of the actions.