FAO commits regional efforts to control cross-border livestock diseases in South Sudan and Uganda

FAO commits regional efforts to control cross-border livestock diseases in South Sudan and Uganda

06/07/2015

Livestock play a vital role in the livelihoods of communities in the bordering countries of South Sudan and Uganda. However, when these animals are crossing from country to country, many can suffer from serious animal health issues, such as the spread of Foot and Mouth disease. There are also a range of negative socio-economic impacts caused by transboundary Animal Diseases or outbreaks during cross-border movement.

To address this serious concern, a high level meeting took place in May and included the Chief Veterinarian Officers of the Departments of Veterinary Services for both South Sudan and Uganda and FAO Representatives from the regional offices included South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. Regional strategies have been developed, aimed to promote safe and beneficial trade in livestock and livestock products between South Sudan and Uganda.

“We are committed to strengthening cross-border efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of trans-boundary animal diseases”, states Abdalmonium Osman, Head of Programmes FAOSS. “The animals and the livestock owners in South Sudan have suffered tremendously during the current crisis and stronger regional efforts will contribute to their resilience.”

The linkage between the economies and similar socio-cultural values of the people living along the border of Uganda and South Sudan are strong. Joint regional efforts for animal disease surveillance and control will contribute to further economic growth and wealth creation in these communities and at the regional level. Mechanisms for information sharing between the neighbouring countries are being enhanced, to report on diseases or outbreaks in real-time and to gather information for early warning and emergency planning.

“This month  a communique was signed by the delegations, which is in essence a pledge to promote sustainable livestock practices as the foundation for cross-border trade,” Massimo Castiello, FAO Deputy Representative Uganda “By combining efforts regionally, we hope this will increase the impact FAO’s work in both countries.”