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Foreign Ministry allocates nearly a million kroons for improving the situation of children in Congo and for stemming the spread of bird flue

09.01.2007

The Foreign Ministry supports the implementation of humanitarian aid projects for improving the children's situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and for activities against the spread of bird flue with a total of
918, 956 kroons. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet signed a directive providing for the amount to be allocated from funds earmarked in the Foreign Ministry budget for development and humanitarian assistance.

According to Urmas Paet, bird flu (avian influenza) even today continues to pose a threat, the best means of stemming the possible spread of which is prevention.
"The supporting of the fight against bird flue in developing countries will directly as well reduce the risk of the virus reaching Estonia," the Foreign Minister said. "By increasing the welfare of poor countries and crisis areas we diminish and help stem the global outbreak of a pandemic," he added.

The project for stemming the possible spread of bird flu is directed towards the inhabitants of developing countries affected or threatened by bird flu. The goal of the project is to diminish the risk of bird flu and possible pandemic as well as their socio-economic consequences in developing countries and to prevent the risk of the global outbreak of a pandemic.

The project of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is directed towards improving the situation of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where nearly 4.7 million school age children do not go to school and a considerable part of schoolhouses have been destroyed. The main goal of the UNICEF's project is to contribute to the strengthening of the educational system.

According to the Foreign Minister, to improve the living conditions of the population of Congo the strong support of the international community is needed. The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently classified by the UN as a world country most in need of humanitarian aid.

The volume of funds earmarked for development assistance and humanitarian aid in the Foreign Ministry budget is 15 million kroons in 2006.

For more information on Estonian development co-operation projects see Foreign Ministry's home page at: http://www.vm.ee/est/kat_425/


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