FAO in South Sudan

FAO launches Peste des Petits Ruminants eradication campaign in South Sudan


-  Over 4.4 million sheep and goats to be vaccinated by December 2020.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and partners are launching a new campaign to eradicate the Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) disease in South Sudan.

An e-launch ceremony was held in the presence of FAO staff in South Sudan and headquarters, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU IBAR), the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (South Sudan) and key donors.

The PPR vaccination campaign for the period 2020 – 2023 is in line with the Global Control and Eradication Strategy that was developed by FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and endorsed in April 2015 with the vision for global PPR eradication by 2030. The campaign is also part of the South Sudan PPR National Strategic plan.

Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), also known as sheep and goat plague, is a widespread, virulent and devastating disease affecting small ruminants. South Sudan has a population of about 25 million small ruminants, which are typically owned by poorer households.

“This eradication campaign will considerably improve the conditions of the most vulnerable communities of South Sudan whose livelihoods have already been challenged by years to conflict and insecurity,” said the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec.

The disease can affect up to 90 percent of a herd and kill up 80 percent of infected animals, resulting in significant economic impacts on food security and livelihoods. It is one of the priority diseases indicated in the FAO-OIE Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases.

“In South Sudan animals mean life. This campaign, with an ambition to eradicate PPR, is a turning point for animal health and the food security of pastoralist communities of South Sudan,” said FAO Representative in South Sudan Meshack Malo. “A one-time vaccination can protect sheep and goats for life, safeguarding the livelihoods of vulnerable communities.”

“The control and eradication of the disease is technically achievable. It is readily diagnosed and a reliable vaccine is available which confers lifelong immunity to vaccinated animals,” said the Director of FAO Animal Production and Health Division Berhe Tekola.

In the past, FAO and partners have vaccinated sheep and goats against PPR as part of routine animal health emergency response interventions. But this is not enough to defeat it. In order to eradicate PPR, a targeted vaccination campaign achieving at least 75 percent immunity rate is necessary.

Infectious diseases can easily spread across national boundaries, so in order to eliminate PPR it is essential to harmonize vaccination efforts with neighbouring countries. The project “Strengthening the resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in South Sudan’s cross border areas with Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda”, funded by the European Union, has provided an important platform for cross-border collaboration on animal health activities with neighbouring countries.  

Thanks to the support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/OFDA), Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom (DFID), the European Union, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), and the United Nations Rehabilitation and the Recovery Trust (Peacebuilding) fund, FAO leads animal health emergency programmes and livestock interventions all across South Sudan. The Peste des Petits Ruminants targeted vaccination campaign will link and embed in the various projects.

The eradication strategy promotes a stepwise approach that will decrease epidemiological risk levels and increase prevention and control involving assessment, control, eradication and maintenance of PPR-free status. As of May 2020, fifty-eight countries and one in the zonal basis have been already declared PPR-free by OIE.

The PPR strategy is implemented around five key elements for prevention and control: diagnostic system; surveillance system; prevention and control system; legal framework; and stakeholder involvement through awareness campaigns.

Overall, through the eradication campaign, FAO aims to vaccinate over 4.4 million sheep and goats in South Sudan by December 2020.

Learn more

Website: Peste des Petits Ruminants

Related document: Peste des petits ruminants global eradication programme (2017-2021)


  • Global Programme for the Control & Eradication of Pest des petits ruminants (Sheep & Goat Plague) [link]
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