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One of the great accomplishments of FAO has been to protect people's livelihoods through the successes of the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme (GREP). FAO, as well as other expert and international organizations, are now confident that rinderpest has been globally eradicated, since the disease has not been reported in the world since 2001 and the absence of the disease has been supported by epidemiological investigations.

 

Early control of rinderpest was instrumental in enabling the Green Revolution to succeed by providing draught power to till the soil and transport harvested crops to the marketplace.

 

During the April 2009, FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG) meeting held in Rome, the progress on rinderpest eradication and the situation of GREP was presented to member countries and FAO was strongly praised for the work done to save the lives of cattle and buffalo, while safeguarding people's livelihoods, and contributing to conservation of native genetic resources, including wildlife).

 

At that time, COAG urged FAO to ensure that the deadline for the global eradication of rinderpest would be met by December 2010, paving the way for a formal declaration of eradication in 2011. Accordingly, the Director General requested a progress report on the work being undertaken within the GREP framework, with special focus on the successes, the mobilization of funds to complete the eradication, and on FAO's strategy to monitor and communicate this achievement to the world. In June 2011, The FAO Conference, the highest body of the UN agency, adopted a resolution declaring global freedom from rinderpest.

 

The resolution also called on the world community to follow up by ensuring that samples of rinderpest viruses and vaccines be kept under safe laboratory conditions and that rigorous standards for disease surveillance and reporting be maintained.