Mexico gets $205 mn from World Bank to combat swine flu

Washington, April 27 (Inditop) Mexico will get $205 million from the World Bank, including $25 million immediately, to combat the growing swine flu epidemic that is already believed to have claimed more than 80 lives.

Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens said the $25 million would be used “to take care of more immediate needs”, including medicine and equipment to help contain the epidemic.

Another $180 million would come over the “medium term” to build up the country’s health institutions.

“A lot of resources are being devoted to bring under control this issue,” Carstens said in a press conference at the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual spring meetings with the World Bank this weekend in Washington.

At least 20 people are confirmed to have died in Mexico from swine flu. Another 65 have died from what is suspected to be the same disease.

The flu has spread to the US, where 20 cases have been confirmed but no deaths reported, as well as New Zealand. The World Health Organisation Saturday declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”, a legal step that put countries around the world on alert.