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FAO welcomes $10 million USA contribution to its COVID-19 response efforts

Rome -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today welcomed a $10 million contribution from the United States of America to its COVID-19 response efforts and to help counter other challenges that threaten human, animal and environmental health, including future pandemics.

In a letter to FAO, the U.S. State Department said the funding is intended to support the agency's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, part of its broader One Health programme.

More specifically, the funding aims to help strengthen national and international One Health systems through enhanced multisectoral early warning, risk assessment and risk reduction, and the progressive management of emerging and endemic zoonotic and high impact animal and plant pests and diseases, including those with epidemic and pandemic potential.

"We thank the Government of the United States of America (USA) for its generous support to FAO's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Program and One Health Tripartite risk assessments at national levels," FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said. "A science-based One Health approach across agrifood systems is critical for early warning and prevention of zoonotic diseases."

The contribution from the United States will benefit countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Near East.

About FAO's Response and Recovery Programme

Launched in mid-2020, FAO's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme aims to proactively and sustainably address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. In line with the UN approach to "build back better," and in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, it aims to mitigate the immediate impacts of the pandemic while strengthening the long-term resilience of sustainable and inclusive agrifood systems. A key priority area focuses on preventing future pandemics, given that an estimated 60% of all infectious diseases are caused by zoonotic pathogens, with the majority originating in wildlife.

About FAO's One Health Programme

A hub of technical knowledge, One Health helps safeguard human, animal, plant and environmental health right through the food value chain, from production to consumption and waste management. With its expertise in implementing the One Health approach, FAO supports countries in strengthening integrated surveillance, early warning and information systems; developing better biosecurity for pest and disease management; reducing risks through multisectoral partnership for preparedness, anticipatory action and response; enhancing capacities in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) control; and more broadly, shoring up One Health systems at national, regional and global level.

FAO collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in the FAO-OIE-WHO Tripartite and expands its collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to mainstream and support One Health implementation globally.