The FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2016-2020
Increasing global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a major threat to human and animal health. It endangers modern human and veterinary medicine and undermines the safety of our food and environment. Antimicrobials play a critical role in the treatment of diseases of farm animals (aquatic and terrestrial) and plants. Their use is essential to food security, to our well-being, and to animal welfare. However, the misuse of these drugs, associated with the emergence and spread of antimicrobial- resistant micro-organisms, places everyone at great risk. The risk appears particularly high in countries where legislation, regulatory surveillance and monitoring systems on the use of antimicrobials, and the prevention and control of Antimicrobial Resistance, are weak or inadequate.
This is where FAO plays a key role in supporting governments, producers, traders and other stakeholders to move towards the responsible use of antimicrobials in agriculture, thus helping reduce Antimicrobial Resistance in agricultural systems. FAO’s Thirty-ninth Conference (in June, 2015) adopted Resolution 4/2015 on AMR which recognized that it poses an increasingly serious threat to public health and sustainable food production, and that an effective response should involve all sectors of government and society. To support the implementation of Resolution 4/2015,1 the FAO Action Plan on AMR addresses four major Focus Areas:
- improve awareness on AMR and related threats;
- develop capacity for surveillance and monitoring of AMR and AMU (antimicrobial use) in food and agriculture;
- strengthen governance related to AMU and AMR in food and agriculture;
- promote good practices in food and agricultural systems and the prudent use of antimicrobials.
This Action Plan supports the WHO-led Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance2 in highlighting the necessity of adopting a “One Health” approach, with the involvement of public health and veterinary authorities, the food and agriculture sectors, financial planners, environmental specialists, and consumers. The objective is to assist Member States to develop (by May, 2017) and implement multisector National Action Plans to combat AMR.