Resource Mobilization

Improving the health of livestock of smallholder farmers in the border areas of Jordan

Agriculture is an important part of the Jordanian national economy. The majority of the rural population in Jordan is involved in agriculture, and many livestock farmers live in areas close to the border with Syria, from where hundreds of thousands of refugees, many with their livestock, have fled since 2011. This livestock has not received regular vaccination and treatment against animal diseases, due to the disruption of services. As a result, transboundary animal diseases (TADs) have been observed among Jordanian livestock. This has led to an overall decline in the quality of services, a decrease of subsidies, lack of economic opportunities, and an increase in prices. This project was designed to support the Jordanian authorities and livestock keepers to contain the risks and prevent TADs outbreaks from spreading, through the establishment of high standards of disease surveillance, early warning capabilities and efficient management of animal health information. 

What did the project do

The project investigated the prevalence of five infectious diseases in collaboration with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in order to determine the baseline information necessary to build up control and eradication strategies. More than 50 public-field veterinarians and para-veterinarians were trained on issues related to surveillance, sampling and diagnosis; 30 percent of trainees were women. The project improved the diagnostic capability of veterinary laboratories of the Ministry of Agriculture by providing equipment, diagnostic kits and chemicals that will help in the monitoring and control of infectious TADs. The project documented the socio-economic impact of TADs on the livelihoods of smallholder livestock owners and pastoralists undertaken through Letters of Agreement with the Applied Scientific Research Fund (ASRF). More than 12 percent of the respondents of the surveyed households were women. The project developed a national control strategy for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), one of the five diseases.


Building the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and other public and private services to improve their readiness to respond to outbreaks of infectious animal diseases has improved the livestock sector’s contribution to food security, livelihoods, and national GDP. In addition, this project has enhanced the biosecurity level of live animals’ entry points into the country, leading to improved conditions for live animal trading in Jordan. The project has also contributed to better understanding of the needs of the pastoral community in Jordan and will enable traditional smallholder farmers, both men and women, to maintain healthy livestock and hence increase their potential to generate additional incomes. The national control strategy for FMD produced by the project will enable the country to take action regarding the control of the disease.


  • A report of an extensive desk review on the status of major TADs in Jordan using data collected by the Ministry of Agriculture and literature reviews published by the universities as well as national and international organizations which have an interest in livestock production.
  • A report of active surveillance conducted on major TADs performed that generated baseline information necessary to develop control and eradication strategies.
  • An analysis of the small ruminant sector in Jordan.
  • A socio-economic investigation and impact assessment of TADs on the livestock industry in Jordan.
  • A report on the national control strategy for FMD. 
Project symbol: TCP/JOR/3502
Project title: Enhanced Surveillance of Transboundary Animal Diseases in Rural Areas of Jordan affected by the Crisis in Syria
Contact: FAO Office in Jordan