U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Ambassador to International Organizations in Vienna Jackie Wolcott announced today at the 64th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the United States is allocating an additional $1.9 million to the IAEA’s Network of Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratories (VETLAB) in Africa and Asia.
The United States previously donated over $3 million to IAEA VETLAB projects assisting Member States in the detection and control of animal diseases, such as African Swine Fever, and zoonotic diseases (those that jump from animals to humans), such as COVID-19, bird flu (H5N1), and Ebola.
Ambassador Wolcott’s statement of U.S. support for VETLAB comes one week after she announced $500,000 of funding from the United States for the IAEA’s Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) initiative at a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors. Funding for both projects is provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs in the Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation.
U.S. support to VETLAB, in combination with the IAEA’s own research and development laboratories, positioned the Agency to provide assistance to countries during the current COVID-19 pandemic, by delivering diagnostic equipment and training to increase capacity to test for COVID-19 in over 120 countries.
The United States is prepared to continue support of IAEA projects such as VETLAB to detect the presence of zoonotic diseases in animals and humans early-on and assist in the prevention of outbreaks. The United States remains fully committed to IAEA peaceful uses programs and is working with the IAEA to ensure that U.S. contributions benefit high-priority Member State needs.
More information on the IAEA VETLAB program is available here: https://www.iaea.org/services/networks/vetlab
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