World Bank: bird flu will cost $800 billion

The World Bank announced today the creation of a $500 million loan program aimed at getting money swiftly to poor Southeast Asian countries that are struggling to combat an outbreak of avian flu among birds.

It also warned that a global human pandemic, should it occur, could cause $800 billion in global economic losses. The bank announced the loan program, which is subject to approval by its board next week, at a meeting in Geneva where experts are trying to forge a strategy to stop &to=' target=_blank>bird flu from developing into a full-blown pandemic that could kill millions of people, reports New York Times.

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