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Towards a Safer World

Towards a Safer World is a global initiative to capture the lessons that were learned from preparing for an influenza pandemic, and inspire leaders to apply those lessons and best practices to continuing and emerging threats.

Disaster preparedness is often an overlooked, underfunded, and under-planned service that only gets attention when a disaster strikes. In light of the ongoing threat for future pandemics and large-scale disasters, the United Nations (UN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have organized the Towards a Safer World (TASW) Initiative.

TASW seeks to capture the achievements of the major efforts undertaken since 2005 as a reaction to the threats of global influenza pandemics.


The response resulted in diverse actors collaborating and taking actions to prepare for and mitigate the potentially devastating disruption on the vital functions of society.


TASW believes that this unprecedented level of multi-sector planning offers a unique opportunity to identify key elements that can advance all disaster preparedness activities.

TASW is working to identify and document the main achievements, gaps, and lessons of pandemic preparedness efforts in each of the following areas: biosecurity and animal health, civil-military coordination, communication, community level preparedness, health, humanitarian assistance, logistics, private sector preparedness, travel and tourism, whole of government planning.

A “Towards a Safer World” Conference will be held at the Marriott Park Hotel in Rome, Italy on 15–16 September 2011.

FAO has contributed a paper on Animal Health and Biosecurity to the TASW Initiative series. The paper provides an overview of how to approach the issue of dealing with diseases of pandemic potential and aims to identify and communicate achievements to a broad audience so that the lessons learned in facing the problem are applied locally, nationally, regionally, and globally to avoid and, where necessary, deal with disasters that could give rise to a pandemic and potentially disrupt critical services.