Peste des petits ruminants

The importance of eradication

Controlling and eventually eradicating PPR means fighting rural poverty, ensuring food security and nutrition, and strengthening resilience and national economies.

  • Fighting rural poverty: the eradication of PPR will preserve the income and asset base of 300 million rural families. Sheep and goats are a source of regular income, a means to capitalize saving and a safety net to face hard times. Selling animals or their products provides resources required to access food, as well as educational and social services for their families.
    PPR eradication will foster the economic empowerment of women in parts of the world where empowering women is game-changing. Women are often responsible for such small domesticated animals for both providing food for their families and selling the related products in local settings.
  • Ensuring food security and nutrition: eradicating PPR tackles food insecurity and malnutrition, resulting in a lasting positive impact on the nutritional status of some of the most vulnerable populations.  

  • Strengthening resilience and national economies: sheep and goats are moveable assets that can be relocated in times of climate stress or volatile security situations. Eradicating PPR will therefore sustainably improve the resilience of poor farmers in their communities and enable them to better manage other shock and threats, particularly in crises-prone and fragile environments, mitigating further migratory trends. Eradication will also increase the economic potential for farmers and other participants in the value chains of sheep and goat meat, milk, wool, leather and fiber. In aggregation, eradicating this disease can contribute to an increase in agriculture GDP in many low and middle-income countries.

Eradicating PPR will contribute significantly to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), but also SDGs 5 (gender equality) , SDG8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG15 (life on land). 

PPR can be eradicated worldwide by 2030. It can be readily and cost-effectively diagnosed and a reliable, inexpensive and high quality vaccine is available that confers lifelong immunity to vaccinated animals after a single dose. The virus also has a relatively short infectious phase and does not survive for long outside a host, making it an ideal candidate for a concerted eradication effort. Strengthening the capacities of national Veterinary Services to control and eradicate this disease will also generate wide-ranging benefits in the fight against other animal diseases. 

Growing international consensus and political support for the eradication of PPR, technical feasibility, high rates of return on investment that span generations, and the proven FAO-OIE partnership in successfully eradicating transboundary animal diseases – such as rinderpest – are strong guarantees of success of the PPR Global Eradication Programme.

PPR eradication and
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes interconnected objectives related to agriculture and food. It sets poverty eradication as an overarching aim and has the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development at its core. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 global targets of the Agenda set out areas to advance sustainable development.

Viewing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the lens of the global strategy for control and eradication of PPR by 2030, prepared by FAO and OIE and presented to the international community in Abidjan in 2015, provides much food for thought. In light of how important sheep and goats are in the livelihood of the poor and marginal farmers in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, PPR can only be seen as a threat to food security, nutrition and poverty alleviation in these regions. Global eradication of PPR can contribute to achieving at least two of the sustainable development goals:

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere; and

SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. PPR has spread at an alarming rate over the last 15 years, reaching regions previously not infected and putting hundreds of millions of additional small ruminants at risk. Left unchecked, it could spread even further, causing more devastating socio-economic losses and serious damage to the income and food security of the millions of small farmers and pastoralists who rely on sheep and goats for their livelihoods, potentially dragging the poor and most vulnerable even deeper into poverty. This suggests an urgent need to coordinate global efforts to prevent and control PPR, and strengthen the resilience of poor communities to protect their livelihoods and livestock assets against this devastating disease.

Rapid progress on the eradication of PPR is also seen as key to contributing directly or indirectly to the achievement of other SDGs such as:

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages;

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls;

SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all;

SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; and

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. 

The PPR Global Control and Eradication Strategy, and the first five-year Global Eradication Programme for implementing it, will be a catalyst in helping to achieve the goals and targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in affected and at-risk countries. Unless PPR is effectively managed at global, regional and national levels, increased socio-economic losses and impacts will continue to undermine efforts to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition, alleviate poverty and achieve sustainable development.