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About 22 million Euros to help reduce impact of avian/swine flu

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 Source: GNA

Accra, Sept. 30, GNA - Ghana and 46 other African, Caribbean and Pacific countries can access a 22 million Euros fund to help reduce the impact of avian and human influenza as well as prepare for a possible human pandemic.

Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said on Wednesday that the money would also enable beneficiary countries to reduce the social and economic consequences of the avian influenza also known as bird flu and the H1N1(swine flu) pandemic. The amount, made available by the African Union - Inter Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), has been channelled through a programme dubbed "Support Programme for Integrated National Action Plans for Avian and Human Influenza (SPINAP-AHI). Dr Tia, addressing accountants working within the African Union Inter Bureau for Animal Research Unit, said management and utilization of such funds required strict financial discipline hence the need to train accountants who would manage the fund. Participants were selected from 27 African countries in Central and West Africa including Ghana, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.

Dr Tia said: "The control of outbreaks of avian and human influenza comes with a great cost to developing countries. In Ghana about two million dollars was spent to procure logistics, equipment and to pay compensation to all affected farmers and traders whose poultry products had to be destroyed in the course of controlling the outbreak." Mr Stanley Kenani, Team Leader for the AU-IBAR Programme, said the training programme had become necessary because there was the need for standard accounting procedure in all the countries involved since the project was donor-funded. "The role of accountants in the SPINAP-AHI programme is very crucial because they make sure that the money is spent in accordance with the AU-IBAR plan." Mr Kenani said if accountants were unable to account for the funds used then the programme could not be sustained, because it was important to use the funds for its intended purposes to ensure sustainability. 30 Sept. 09

Source: GNA