In 2003, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza spread across Southeast Asia and then to the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa. The rapid spread, significant socio economic losses, and the potential threat of a human pandemic influenza triggered concerted global action to control the disease and prepare for the next influenza pandemic. While an analysis of the global situation in recent years indicates fewer outbreaks of HPAI and fewer infected countries than in 2005; the virus remains entrenched in several countries and threat of further outbreaks of HPAI in poultry (and sporadic cases in humans) persist.
Dr. David Nabarro was appointed as the United Nations System Influenza Coordinator by UN Secretary General in September 2005 to help make the UN System work to its best effect in support of national, regional and global efforts to address the threats posed by avian and human influenza. The Coordinators work draws on, and enhances implementation of, the technical strategies for influenza action that are spearheaded by FAO, WHO and the OIE. The core of UNSIC’s work is the tracking and analysis of coordination in different settings, assessing its effectiveness and impact and encouraging increased synergy of the UN System action in priority areas such as Pandemic preparedness guidelines and establishing partnerships and alliances between UN system, other stakeholders and to encourage effective collaboration with like-minded groups from the public, voluntary, private and media sectors.
The coordinator’s work is primarily focused on
- Global reporting on progress and funding
- Interagency coordination
- Support to inter-governmental processes
- Support to the UN system’s preparedness efforts
- Coordinated UN-system support to avian and human influenza action in country by national authorities and other stakeholders
- Coordination of communications.
UNSIC also works closely with the Pandemic Influenza Contingency under OCHA whose primary function is to facilitate and track readiness to mitigate the societal impact of the next influenza pandemic and report on the progress.
NOTE: The primary purpose of the this website is to provide information regarding UNSIC’s activities to help the UN system work to its best effect in support of national, regional and global efforts to address the threats posed by AHI.
For more detailed information regarding other UN Activities on avian and human influenza please visit the UN Influenza portal at: www.un-influenza.org
For more detailed information regarding pandemic preparedness, general guidelines, updated information on global preparedness, simulations and workshops, please visit the Pandemic Influenza Contingency website at www.un-pic.org