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Banks warn of bird flu pandemic effects


Banks warn of bird flu pandemic effects


International banking institutions are warning of dire economic effects from a bird flu pandemic.The World Bank said the most immediate economic impact could come – not from death or sickness – but from people and governments responding in an uncoordinated way.

The Asian Development Bank predicts an outbreak with economic effects lasting six months would cost the region’s economies 83 billion euros with GDP cut by 2.3%.Over one year it would be 236 billion euros and GDP falling 6.5%.Hong Kong and Singapore would be worst hit financially according to the Asian Development Bank.

It said avian flu presents a major potential challenge to the development of the region – perhaps the most serious since the financial crisis of 1997.The World Bank also spoke of its “grave concern.” The bank said the spread of avian flu was so far confined to rural areas of several Asian countries, but presents a big risk to growth next year, due to potential policy actions such as quarantines and travel restrictions.

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