The US Agency for International Development ( USAID) has provided 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment to Vietnam, the US Embassy in Hanoi announced on November 20.

The provision aims to help animal health workers respond quickly to potential new outbreaks of avian influenza, infectious disease and other emerging pandemic threats.

The equipment provides critical protection for those working on the frontlines of avian influenza and pandemic outbreaks, said USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker.

The supplies, including 1,000 masks, 1,000 goggles and 4,000 gloves, are being sent to regional centres and provinces throughout the country most at risk of bird flu or in greatest need of the supplies.

This assistance package, valued at 50,000 USD, comes at the request of Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with technical support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Since 2005, USAID has provided over 50 million USD in support of Vietnam's programmes to combat avian influenza, including more than 64,000 complete sets of personal protective equipment.-VNA