Preparing to deal with the economic consequences of a potential Influenza Pandemic is the purpose of an APEC symposium next week in Viet Nam.
The "APEC Health Task Force Symposium on Functioning Economies in Times of Pandemic" in Da Nang, Viet Nam, on September 10-11, will help governments to establish clear strategies for minimizing economic damage in the event of a pandemic.
The project is focused on ensuring that regional governments understand that standard disaster management plans will not be enough to deal with an Influenza Pandemic.
The project acknowledges that preparing for a pandemic is different from most other disasters due to the widespread impact on the workforce in all sectors of the economy.
As will be covered at the symposium, a pandemic will be characterized by the spread of an outbreak across international borders in a short period of time with effects including social dislocation, business downturn and job losses.
The symposium, that is being organized by Australia and is co-sponsored by Viet Nam and Canada, will provide government planners with access to information and identify areas where greater collaboration can be undertaken.
Discussion at the Symposium will focus on a range of themes that have been identified in a recent consultation report as being essential for pandemic preparedness and provide input for a set of protocols that will be launched in 2007.
Delegates to the symposium will include a cross section of government representatives from APEC Member Economies and relevant multilateral organizations including the United Nations and the World Health Organization.