Livestock contribute immensely to socio-economic development in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region. There are about 68 million livestock units in the region with Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan. Most of this region is arid or semi-arid, thus pastoral or agro-pastoral production systems are the dominant socio-economic activities.
Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan export a large proportion of their livestock to the Middle East and other international markets. However, transboundary animal diseases pose a great risk for further development and sustainability of inter-regional livestock trade.
Some of these disease (for example, Rift Valley fever and brucellosis) can be transmitted to humans, thus presenting a public health risk. As a result, importing countries are increasingly concerned about the risk of these diseases being introduced into their countries via livestock or livestock products. For instance, in 1998-99 and 2000, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East banned imports of livestock and livestock products from the Horn of Africa following outbreaks of Rift Valley fever in the Horn of Africa.
The objective of this project is to promote inter-regional livestock trade between the Greater Horn of Africa and the Middle East and harmonize interventions for transboundary animal diseases in the IGAD region in line with the standards of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This will contribute to reduced poverty and enhanced regional economic growth and integration between East Africa and the Middle East. Specifically, the project aims to promote the development and implementation of harmonized animal health regulations in the Greater Horn of Africa region. This will be achieved through the development of:
- a framework for surveillance of transboundary animal diseases
- harmonized laboratory testing procedures for these diseases
- standardized and coordinated approaches to disease control
- standard procedures for quarantine stations in the region
- technical and coordination capacity of the member states and the IGAD region