Antimicrobials: Handle with care

©FAO/Luis Tato


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today. Drug-resistant microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites can spread between and within animal, human and plant populations and migrate through the environment.

Therefore, addressing AMR requires multi-sectoral interventions known as the One Health approach. This holistic approach recognizes that animal, human, plant and environmental health are inextricably intertwined and interdependent.

World AMR Awareness Week 2023 is a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding of AMR and promote best practices among One Health stakeholders to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens. Tackling AMR through One Health will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, transform agrifood systems, save millions of lives, preserve antimicrobials for generations and protect the future from drug-resistant diseases.

In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), known collectively as the Quadripartite, FAO is working to raise awareness of the need for more responsible use of antimicrobials.

Learn more by reviewing some of FAO’s key materials on AMR:

The FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021–2025 – Supporting innovation and resilience in food and agriculture sectors
This document outlines the FAO Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021–2025 which serves as a roadmap to address AMR in the food and agriculture sectors.

Guidance to facilitate monitoring and evaluation for antimicrobial resistance national action plans
This document has been developed as a reference to assist countries in the development and implementation of their antimicrobial resistance national action plans (AMR NAPs). It provides guidance on establishing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan for their AMR NAPs.

Foodborne antimicrobial resistance – Compendium of Codex standards
This publication brings together three Codex texts, two guidelines and a code of practice that will support governments in designing and running a successful strategy to tackle foodborne AMR.

A One Health Priority Research Agenda for Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is shaping up as a major risk to global health. Under the multi-agency One Health approach, this publication is an agenda-setting exercise for research, structured around “five pillars”. These are transmission; integrated surveillance; interventions; behavioural insights and change; and economics and policy.

Further reading

Additional resources




    FAO publications [email protected]