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Indian PM Appeals for More Money to Fight Bird Flu

India's prime minister says more funding is needed to deal with the global threat of bird flu.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said past funding pledges have been fulfilled, but more financial support is needed from the international community.  Mr. Singh made the remarks while addressing an international conference on bird flu in India's capital, New Delhi.

Delegates from more than 100 countries are taking part in the meeting.  International donors have already pledged $2.3 billion to help developing countries fight the virus.

In his speech, Mr. Singh stressed the importance of focusing on animal health, saying the best available strategy is to control the epidemic at its source.  He added Indian scientists are developing vaccines for both poultry and people.

World Health Organization officials say nearly 20 percent of the global population will be affected during the next bird flu pandemic.

Bird flu has killed more than 200 people since 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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