UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established a trust fund Friday to assist the financing of urgent priorities in the global fight against the Zika virus, which is currently concentrated in Latin America but is likely spread rapidly.
Money from the trust fund, which will support the World Health Organization's Zika strategic response framework, will be distributed to assist the implementation of national response plans and address other social and economic challenges related to the virus.
"The trust fund provides a rapid, flexible and accountable platform to support a coordinated response from the UN system and partners," said Stephane Dujarric, Ban's spokesman.
The mosquito-borne Zika virus has raised international concerns because it appears to be linked to birth defects in babies, as well as a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. The virus causes only mild flu symptoms in most patients.