Animal health emergencies continue to erupt around the world at an ever-increasing pace. Increased global travel, human migration and informal trade of animals and animal products continue to intensify the risk of disease spread. Infectious diseases and other animal health threats have the potential to move rapidly within a country or around the world leading to severe socio-economic and public health consequences. For zoonoses that develop the ability for human to human transmission, an early response to an animal health emergency could prevent the next pandemic. As the demands continue to evolve for effective and efficient management of animal diseases, including emerging diseases and zoonoses, the Emergency Management Centre for Animal Health (EMC-AH) continues to evolve and keep pace with the global demands, adding value to Member States of FAO.
Building on the first eleven years of success, the Centre rebranded its platform in 2018 as EMC-AH, with the full support of the Crisis Management Centre for Animal Health Steering Committee in November 2017. The new name reflects the modernization of the platform and new way of working to better address the needs of the future. Further, the inaugural EMC-AH strategic action plan 2018 2022 released in June 2018 clearly states the vision, mission, and core functions of EMC AH for the coming five years with the aim of reducing the impact of animal health emergencies.
EMC AH’s annual report reflects EMC AH’s new way of working under its strategic action plan and addresses EMC AH performance and actions for the twelve-month period of November 2017-October 2018. During the reporting period, EMC AH contributed to strengthening resilience of livelihoods to animal health-related emergencies and zoonoses through the core pillars of its strategic action plan: preparedness, response, incident coordination, collaboration and resource mobilization. The annual report illustrates EMC-AH’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
FAO’s Member States have an ongoing need for a holistic and sustainable international platform that provides the necessary tools and interventions inclusive of animal health emergency management. EMC-AH strategic action plan requires a substantial commitment of resources to implement the full range of proposed activities, and EMC-AH must maintain key personnel essential to carry out its objectives and components of the 2016-2019 FAO Strategic Framework that addresses increased resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises (Strategic Programme five [SP5]).
As a joint platform of FAO’s Animal Health Service and Emergency Response and Resilience Team, and in close collaboration with related partners and networks, EMC-AH is appropriately positioned to provide renewed leadership, coordination and action for global animal health emergencies.