FAO calls for new funding to vaccinate livestock in South Sudan
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched an appeal to help vaccinate nine million animals in South Sudan.
The organisation is hoping to raise $7.5 million to combat the increased number of diseases, such as black quarter, haemorrhagic septicaemia and anthrax, among cattle in the country.
The FAO’s lead representative in South Sudan, Serge Tissot, explained that time was a critical factor in their appeal:
“If we wait for two more months, the rains will start taking over; half of the country will soon be completely cut off or extremely difficult to access, and a huge number of animals risk being trapped in an impossible situation”.
The current lack of infrastructure and health services is a strong barrier to ensuring livestock are kept alive. In addition, long distances and high temperatures of up to 45°C require ‘cold chain hubs’ to ensure vaccines don’t deteriorate.
The FAO has already trained 1,000 health workers in the country to carry out routine check-ups and provide life-saving vaccinations. It is hoping to train another 1,000 in 2018 to further these vital services.
The number of animals it hopes to vaccinate account for 30 percent of all livestock, and failure to do so has serious implications for combating hunger across the country.
Mr Tissot added:
"For people in South Sudan, cattle means life. They ‘chase away hunger’, as farmers put it. They don't only provide an important source of nutritious food, but also act as a safety net; when faced with an emergency, farmers can turn to selling one of their animals to cover other urgent needs".
Aid & International Development Forum is hosting its inaugural Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Summit on 15-16th May 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit will discuss innovations and challenges in CSA practices, increasing cross industry collaboration for CSA, financial investment for CSA and much more.
Image Credit: ILRI