LAST week, Indonesia announced its 43rd human death from bird flu. It has now recorded more fatalities than any other nation, and in stark contrast to all other countries its death toll is climbing regularly. It looks as though things will get worse before they get better.The Indonesian government claims to be committed to fighting the disease, caused by the H5N1 virus, but it does not seem to want to spend much of its own money doing so. After the international community pledged $900m in grants and slightly more in very soft loans to combat the spread of bird flu globally and to help nations prepare for a possible human flu pandemic, Indonesia put in a request for the full $900m—all of it in grants. A national bird-flu commission was created in March to co-ordinate the country's response but it has yet to be given a budget. Its chief, meanwhile, has just been given a second full-time job—heading efforts to rebuild the part of Java devastated by an earthquake in May.
Observers say that the available money is being mis-spent, with the focus on humans rather than on animals. The agriculture ministry, for example, is asking for less money for next year than it got this year. This is despite hundreds of thousands of hens dying every month, to say nothing of infected cats, quails, pigs and ducks. Farmers are being compensate at only 2,000 rupiah (21 cents) per bird, well below market price, thereby discouraging them from reporting outbreaks. The country's veterinary surveillance services are inadequate. Pledges to vaccinate hundreds of millions of birds have not been met. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation is starting to establish local disease-control centres to cope with the effects of a virulent mutation, should one occur, but reckons that only one-third of the country will be covered by year's end. A bunch of international do-gooders that is trying to plug some of the gaps is finding it hard to raise money.
上周，印度尼西亚公布的数字显示，禽流感致死人数已上升至 43 人。到目前为止，印尼死于禽流感的人数居各国之首，且与其他国家明显不同的是，死亡人数仍在持续攀升。现在看来，印尼禽流感疫情会将进一步恶化。印尼政府称将全力防控 H5N1 禽流感疫情，但却不愿给予足够财力支持。此前，国际社会承诺将筹集 9 亿美元资金，并提供 9 亿多美元的超低息贷款，在全球开展禽流感防控工作，帮助各国做好准备，防范人流感疫情爆发。印尼则闻声而动，随即提出希望获得全部 9 亿美元的援助金。印尼在三月份就组建了一个全国禽流感工作委员会，协调全国禽流感防控工作，但
到目前为止该委员会未获得任何预算支持。同时，该委员会主席又刚刚被委以重任，全职负责五月份遭受地震重创的爪哇地区的重建工作。观察家认为，现有资金也没有用到刀刃上，重点放在了人类而非动物感染防控上。例如，农业部明年的预算申请要低于今年，但现实情况是，每月印尼都有数十万只鸡死亡，这还不算猫、鹌鹑、猪和鸭等其他禽畜的感染。现在，对扑杀的禽类补助标准仅为每只 2,000 卢比(折合 21 美分)，远低于市场价，农民不愿积极配合，疫情瞒报在所难免。印尼兽医监控服务也并不完善，本来承诺要对数亿只家禽进行防疫，到现在也仍未兑现。联合国粮食与农业组织也开始着手在当地建立疾控中心，以防病毒变异，但估计到年底前也只能覆盖印尼三分之一的地区。一些国际非政府组织也希望给予支持和配合，但是目前筹资是一大难题。