Resistencia a los antimicrobianos

FAO publishes first report on its global response to AMR


FAO has just released its first-ever report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which outlines a wide range of activities undertaken by the organization at global, regional and country level. This work is currently guided by the FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021-2025.


Why is AMR a key priority for FAO?

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the top ten global public health challenges. It occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines such as antibiotics, fungicides and other antimicrobials. As a result, infections are harder to treat and the risks of disease spread, causing the number of illnesses and deaths to increase.

In addition to directly impacting human and animal health, AMR poses risks to food and agricultural systems, food safety, food security, livelihoods, economies and the environment, including soils and water. Section 1 of the report provides an overview of AMR in food and agriculture.

It is also important to note that developing countries of the global south have the highest all-age death rate attributable to AMR. Therefore, in the foreword, Deputy Director-General Semedo states that AMR “is not a “first world problem” – it is one the entire membership of FAO must face together”.


How does FAO lead the global response to AMR in food and agriculture?

At the United Nations General Assembly of September 2016, Members Nations committed to developing and implementing AMR national action plans and called on FAO and other organizations to support them in doing so. The FAO Action Plan on AMR 2021-2025 underpins FAO’s response to that call.

To lead the global response to AMR in the food and agriculture sectors, FAO brings expertise, champions multisectoral and multidisciplinary responses to AMR, coordinates action, promotes good production practices and responsible antimicrobial use (AMU), works with key stakeholders and supports the development of national and regional regulatory frameworks, as well as the implementation of AMR-relevant standards.

In terms of assisting Members, FAO has directly supported AMR-related activities in the food and agriculture sector in more than 70 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The report presents the highlights of FAO’s AMR-related activities at a global, regional and country level under the five pillars of the FAO Action Plan on AMR. It also features eight case studies illustrating FAO’s AMR-related work in countries and by thematic area.


A holistic One Health approach to AMR

FAO’s contribution to the AMR response is part of FAO’s One Health Priority Programme Area and focuses on supporting countries in developing and implementing those components of national action plans on AMR that are relevant to the food and agriculture sectors in the context of a One Health approach, which recognizes the interconnectedness of the health of people, animals, plants and ecosystems.

It is worth noting that FAO’s work to tackle AMR in the food and agriculture sector is done in large part through the Quadripartite collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). You can learn more about FAO’s various multi-sectorial initiatives against AMR in Section 2 of the report.

Overall, the report shows how FAO is making a difference in countries as they respond to the major challenges facing the sectors’ response to AMR. However, it also recognizes the need for more and better evidence, more informed and more widespread interventions to reduce the need for antimicrobials, more resources, increased capacity and stronger governance to ensure effective stakeholder engagement, and sustained commitment and action based on a One Health approach, particularly at country level.


Read the full “Tackling antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture” report here.

For more resources, check out the FAO AMR website.

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