Israel: UN has agreed to help PA fight bird flu

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni appealed to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday for international assistance to help the Palestinians fight the recent outbreak of the deadly bird flu, the Foreign Ministry said. In response, Annan told Livni in their phone conversation that he would call on the World Health Organization to lend support to Palestinian agriculture and health officials in their fight against the flu, the Foreign Ministry statement said. The appeal for aid came a day after Livni called World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to express Israel's concern over the ability of the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority to stop the spread of the flu. Israel feared that without international involvement, the Palestinian Authority would not take the immediate steps needed to limit the flu's spread, Livni told Wolfowitz. An outbreak of avian flu was disclosed in Gaza on Wednesday.