Enhancing Control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Developing Countries through Compensation
(World Bank, FAO, IPRI, OIE)
Early identification of HPAI and the immediate culling of diseased or suspected animals are critical elements of reducing the risk of the disease spreading. The international community and national governments have responded to this challenge by establishing funding mechanisms to enable compensation to assist in this strategy. The report seeks to provide guidelines on good practice for payment of compensation as part of HPAI stamping-out strategies. It is meant for national and international managers and project staff involved in containing HPAI.
(December 2004 to November 2007)
Work on compensation started in December 2004 with a mission to Viet Nam under the Avian Influenza Emergency Recovery Programme (AIERP) soon after the onset of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the country. Earlier in the year, the government had designed a compensation policy which aimed to encourage farmers to report cases and thereby contribute to rapid containment of the disease. However, notwithstanding implementation of that policy, the disease was not contained. Although other factors played a role in the continued spread of disease, the government requested FAO's assistance in revising its compensation scheme. Analysis of the issue was based on four perceived requirements:
As HPAI evolved in the Southeast Asian region and then started spreading across the Caucasus, Middle East, North Africa and Western Africa, country requests started arriving at FAO HQ through FAO representations to assist national governments in preparing, or even implementing compensation strategies. In order to ensure consistency of advice, FAO developed a checklist of simple guidelines for designing a compensation strategy.
In advice for unaffected countries such as Mauritania and Senegal, guidelines were provided along with estimates of the funds needed for compensation under different infection rate scenarios, and a proposed strategy for fund generation at national level.
FAO organised emergency missions to Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, West Bank and Gaza Strip, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia and Egypt after receiving requests from the governments concerned following HPAI outbreaks. Advice was provided on modifying existing compensation policies to better meet the needs of rapid disease containment. In most cases, the advice focused on operational activities, although it also stressed the importance of resource generation for compensation should the number of outbreaks increase.
Development of a multi-agency “good practice” document
By May 2006, the World Bank had established that given the public health threat associated with HPAI it would assist countries in compensation payments through International Development Association (IDA) soft loans. This triggered the development of a multi-agency set of guidelines on “good practices” in the design of compensation schemes. A co-authored publication by the World Bank, FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) was written during the summer of 2006 and presented at the 4th International Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza in Bamako, Mali, in December 2006. The publication drew on FAO's accumulated technical expertise, the Bank’s expertise in devising and monitoring financing schemes, three case studies carried out during the writing period, and a detailed review of literature carried out by IFPRI. OIE acted as the host for a review session held in Paris.
During 2007, FAO’s work on compensation has focussed on assisting countries to prepare operational plans, using the technical expertise of FAO's Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL) to carry out missions funded by the World Bank and often originating from requests from World Bank country offices. Operational manuals have been prepared for the West Bank & Gaza Strip and Armenia, and one will be issued shortly for Uzbekistan. They describe how mechanisms for the disbursement of compensation funds can be implemented in a transparent and auditable way. Such manuals are important for country implementation of compensation schemes and a requirement for the World Bank to be able to monitor and audit the funds they have earmarked for compensation.
Compensation is one of the key measures for controlling disease spread at an early stage, and the demand for assistance in designing strategies is currently opening up to other diseases, such as African Swine Fever (ASF) in Armenia. An official request has already been sent to FAO for assistance in adapting compensation policy to the case of ASF. It is reasonable to expect this to happen in the future for other diseasesl.
Nonetheless, compensation highlights one of the weakest areas of animal and public health systems, namely the generation of resources at national level and specifically resource allocation at animal health system level. Animal health systems performance indicators need to be defined to enable the evaluation of their effectiveness and efficiency, not only from a technical point of view but also taking into account the social and economic dimensions of technical decisions regarding disease control strategies.
To date, all studies and other activities related to HPAI compensation have been carried out by officers of FAO's Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch (AGAL) within the framework of the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD).