Avian influenza and the human influenza pandemic threat are global challenges.
In a series of conferences of senior officials the international communuity has agreed on a strategy to combat avian influenza and reduce the risk of a human influenza pandemic.
In September 2005, US President Bush announced the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza (IPAPI), at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. IPAPI is a loose partnership of different national and regional bodies.
In October 2005, the Government of Canada hosted an international meeting of Ministers of Health to enhance global planning and collaboration on pandemic influenza in Ottawa.
In November 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Bank cosponsored a meeting on avian influenza and human pandemic influenza. The meeting agreed on a set of key action steps and an urgent need for financing.
In January 2006, the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the European Commission and the World Bank co-hosted an international pledging conference in Beijing, which mobilised pledges for affected countries and countries at risk of US$1.9 billion.
In June 2006, the Vienna Senior Officials meeting reviewed progress on the
implementation of the global strategy. The meeting was organized by the Austrian Presidency of the European Union, in coordination with the Commission, the USA and China.
In December 2006, the Senior Officials Meeting was co-organized by the African Union, the Government of Mali and the European Commission, at which grants were pledged to the value of $475 million. Ministers present at the conference committed to investing in properly functioning animal and human health services. The Conference Declaration called for effective action, especially in Africa, enhanced communication, and collaboration between animal and human health sectors.
In December 2007, the fifth International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza took place in New Delhi, India. Organized and hosted by the Government of India, the Conference brought together 500 participants, representing 111 countries and 26 international agencies under the vision “One World, One Health.” While the conference was not specifically designed for donor contributions, a session was allocated for those wishing to announce financial assistance and pledges totaling US$ 401 million were made.
In October 2008, the next conference in the series of senior officials meetings will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (24-26 October).