World Bank Approves $82 Million Loan For Controlling Zoonotic Diseases in India
Strengthening India’s One Health approach, which recognises that people and animals are connected with their shared environment, the World Bank has approved a $82 million loan.
The loan is to support efforts in the adoption of global best practices for animal health management and to prevent, detect, and respond to endemic zoonotic diseases in India.
An infection or disease that is transmissible from animals to humans under natural conditions is called zoonosis.
With India having the largest livestock population in the world, these risks are particularly high. For example, foot and mouth disease alone costs the country more than $3.3 billion annually.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank on Thursday (today) approved the loan for animal health management to respond to transboundary and emerging infectious diseases.
The $82 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) uses the program-for-results financing instrument that links disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific program results. The loan has a maturity of 11.5 years with a grace period of 4.5 years.
Animal disease outbreaks globally continue to pose risks to public health systems and have enormous economic costs.
The Animal Health System Support for One Health Program will back India’s Livestock Health and Disease Control Program, which seeks to control animal diseases and zoonoses.
"The new program will help reduce the risks of animal disease outbreaks by improving disease surveillance and veterinary services in the livestock and wildlife sectors," said Auguste Tano Kouame, the World Bank’s Country Director for India.
"At least 2.9 million livestock farmers will have increased access to improved animal health services in the participating states of Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh."
Through state-of-the-art laboratories, the programme will also strengthen collaboration and data sharing with the human health sector. It will also enhance food quality and safety in animal products, especially in livestock and wet markets.
"In India, around 68 per cent of the workforce relies on farming and remains in close contact with domestic animals and poultry, thereby becoming frequently exposed to sick or infected animals,” said Hikuepi Katjiuongua, Adarsh Kumar and Anupam Joshi, the task team leaders for the programme.
“By supporting evidence-based policies on animal disease and zoonoses management, the programme will address food safety in livestock value chains.”
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