Background to the Pandemic Influenza and Other Emerging
Threats (PIOET) Program

Nearly 75
percent of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the
beginning of the 21st century are zoonotic (i.e. originated in animals).
Notable reminders of how vulnerable the increasingly interconnected world is to
the global impact of new emergent diseases include HIV/AIDS, severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS), the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, and the 2009
pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. The speed with which these diseases can emerge
and spread presents serious public health, economic, and development concerns.
It also underscores the need for the development of comprehensive disease
detection and response capacities, particularly in “hot spot” areas such as
central Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America where a confluence
of risk factors may contribute to disease emergence.

The Pandemic
Influenza and Other Emerging Threats (PIOET) Unit supports two major lines of
work: H5N1 Avian Influenza, and Emerging Pandemic Threats. H5N1 Avian
Influenza: Since 2005, USAID has strengthened the capacities of more than 50
countries for monitoring the spread of H5N1 avian influenza among wild bird
populations, domestic poultry, and humans, to mount a rapid and effective
containment of the virus when it is found, and to help countries prepare
operational capacities in the event a pandemic capable virus emerges.

efforts have contributed to dramatic downturns in poultry outbreaks and human
infections, and a dramatic reduction in the number of countries affected; with
five of these countries (Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Bangladesh and Egypt) as
the primary reservoir of the virus. Although these successes are significant,
the H5N1 virus remains a serious threat and sustained vigilance is required.
Mindful of the need for vigilance USAID continues its efforts to build on its
successes and further consolidate its programs in the highest risk countries.
Emerging Pandemic Threats: As a complement to USAID’s work in H5N1, the PIOET
Unit launched the Emerging Pandemic Threats program in 2009 to aggressively
preempt or combat other diseases that could spark future pandemics.

This second
line of work is composed of four complementary projects operating in 20
countries — PREDICT, PREVENT, IDENTIFY, and RESPOND—with technical assistance
from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The EPT global
program draws on expertise from across the animal and human health sectors to
build regional, national, and local “One Health” capacities for early disease
detection, laboratory-based disease diagnosis, rapid response and containment,
and risk reduction. At the country level, the EPT partners are working with
governments and other key incountry and regional partners to enhance the
understanding of viral distribution and key drivers of disease emergence—from
deforestation and land use change to wildlife trade and livestock product

information, along with other EPT investments to strengthen country-level
capacities for routine infectious disease detection and outbreak response, will
be used to improve surveillance and response as well as risk-mitigation

efforts will safeguard human and animal health and livelihoods in locations in
Africa, Asia, and Latin America where new pandemic threats are likely to
emerge. (Source: PIOET Fact
Sheet / USAID)

PIOET Program Accomplishments

March of 2016, I filed a FOIA to USAID for all documents pertaining to the
accomplishments of this program. Although still an open FOIA request, I did
start receiving documents in June of 2016. I will update this page as more
records are released.

Interim Release, June 9, 2016
[2,200 Pages, 69MB]


U.S. foreign
assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s interests
while improving lives in the developing world. USAID carries out U.S. foreign
policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands
stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United
States, and fosters good will abroad.

less than 1 percent of the total federal budget, USAID works in over 100
countries to:

  • Promote
    broadly shared economic prosperity;
  • Strengthen democracy
    and good governance;
  • Protect
    human rights;
  • Improve global
  • Advance food
    security and agriculture;
  • Improve environmental
  • Further education;
  • Help
    societies prevent and recover from conflicts; and
  • Provide humanitarian
    assistance in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.

(Source: USAID Fact Sheet)