Over 45 countries have renewed their commitment to globally eradicate, Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a highly contagious disease affecting ruminants by 2030 according to FAO
The devastating disease is responsible for the death of sheep and goats in their millions each year. At the same time, the countries urged resource partners and the development community to contribute in bridging the PPR Global Eradication Programme’s $340 million funding gap.
The decision to reaffirm this international political engagement and encourage resource partners to join the fight against the disease came at the global conference: Partnering and investing for a PPR-free world, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The conference was hosted by the European Commission in Brussels.
In a Ministerial Declaration, participants stressed that PPR “directly threatens the livelihoods of the poorest people of our countries with significant losses in our local economies,” noting that the disease causes more than $2.1 billion in economic losses per year.
Addressing the conference, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica said “Our commitment to tackle animal diseases – like PPR – is also a response, to the wider challenges of migration, food security, poverty alleviation, resilience and global trade. And it is essential to our efforts to provide better jobs and prospects for women and young people in particular.”
FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva also said “The financial resources to eradicate PPR are not an expense, but an important investment that will result in future economic and social gains. Small ruminants are the primary livestock resource of about 300 million poor rural families in developing and emerging countries. If we do not tackle the spread of PPR, the disease will increase poverty, hunger and also other forms of malnutrition. Eradicating PPR is fundamental for building a safer and more sustainable world.”
The conference stressed that PPR control and eradication starts with commitment and investment at national level. However, support is also needed from resource partners in building the capacity of national, regional and sub-regional institutions. Also by bringing about a coordinated, sustained and harmonized approach, necessary for the eradication of the disease.
It noted that controlling and eventually eradicating PPR means fighting rural poverty, ensuring food security and nutrition, and strengthening resilience and national economies and is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Nearly 270 participants, among them ministers from over 45 PPR-infected and at-risk countries as well other stakeholders attended the one-day Brussels conference. It was preceded by a Stakeholders Forum, which provided the opportunity to exchange views and to collect first-hand testimonies on the serious impact of PPR.