FAO seeks $7.5 million for livestock vaccination in South SudanStaff Writer | January 24, 2018
FAO appealed for 7.5 million to roll out an emergency livestock vaccination campaign in South Sudan seeking to combat frequent outbreaks of animal diseases.
Diseases 1,000 community-based animal health workers
The agency said lack of vaccines threatens the survival of about nine million livestock throughout the world's youngest nation.
Serge Tissot, FAO Representative in South Sudan, said most of the population relies on livestock for their very survival and losing them would be disastrous since half of the country's population is already grappling with acute hunger.
He said the funds are required not only for vaccination costs but also to build three new cold chain hubs in remote areas, adding that poor infrastructure remains a major challenge for the delivery of animal health care services and medicines across the east African country.
"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," Tissot said.
Tissot said a vibrant and sustainable community-based animal health system is important for the development of the livestock sector in South Sudan.
FAO said in 2018, it seeks to train an additional 1,000 community-based animal health workers to spread the reach of veterinary services.
"For people in South Sudan, cattle mean 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," Tissot added. ■