Monday, 22, April, 2024

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Committee of Veterinary and Livestock Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan have launched a new project, implemented by the FAO Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases, under USAID’s Global Health Security program.

The goal of the project is to support Uzbekistan’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to animal and public health threats. The inception workshop of the project brought together representatives in the agriculture, veterinary, and livestock sectors from the Government of Uzbekistan, international organizations, national research institutes, and civil society.

The workshop presented project objectives, endorsed the project’s annual work plan, and discussed key activities and priorities concerning the project’s implementation.

Sherzod Umarov, Assistant FAO Representative in Uzbekistan said: “Livestock plays an important role in Uzbekistan as a source of income for a significant percentage of the rural population. The health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants and the ecosystems are closely linked and interdependent. FAO promotes this initiative as part of agrifood system transformation for the health of people, animals, plants and the environment.”

Uzbekistan’s environment, shaped by its geographic location and climate, will continue to prioritize livestock production. Cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and horses constitute the most economically productive species. These species are used in meat and milk production.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that diseases transmitted between animals and humans can reach any country or region in a relatively short period of time and spread widely. Implementing a multidisciplinary and multisectoral “One Health” approach at the national, regional, and global levels will lead to efficient disease prevention and control, as most emerging infectious diseases originate in animals. Global health and the resilience of food systems, in a post-COVID-19 world, will be increased by strengthening existing crisis preparedness plans, response capacity, establishing adequate governance of the “One Health” approach, and consolidating efforts to mitigate health risks that may arise from the human–animal–environment interface.

In this context, animal health and food safety continue to be key priorities in Uzbekistan. They represent a fundamental pillar to alleviate food insecurity for the most vulnerable populations and safeguard human health. The collaborative work in the areas of animal health, food safety, public health, zoonoses, and improving the value of livestock are considered priorities.

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