USAID Continues to Help Sri Lanka Prevent Avian Influenza
Colombo, 26 June, (Asiantribune.com): The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over on June 24 in Kandy a second donation of key supplies to the Ministry of Livestock Development to help strengthen Sri Lanka’s early warning and reaction capacity against Avian Influenza.
Since 2006, USAID Sri Lanka has worked with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to increase Avian Influenza preparedness activities across the island, in collaboration with the Department of Animal Production and Health. The program has strengthened Sri Lanka’s early warning and early reaction capacity and provided critical preparedness materials to government and private sector stakeholders in the poultry industry.
"Together, we have successfully worked to prevent an incursion of Avian Influenza in Sri Lanka, and set up systems to block its spread in epidemic proportions should an outbreak occur," USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn said at a handover ceremony. "We see clearly the benefits of our joint efforts, and USAID has decided to extend this vital program through the end of December 2008, providing an additional US $500,000, on top of the $400,000 provided previously."
The new supplies include 1,500 sets of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – which safeguard government officials and farmers against exposure to infected birds or their manure in responding to an actual or suspected outbreak – donated from USAID in Washington. Dr. Swarna Herath, Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health, expressed her gratitude to USAID on behalf of the Government for the donation, as did Acting FAO Country Representative Ariyal Rajendran.
- Asian Tribune -