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One Health: human, animal and environmental health form one unit - and affect sustainable development.

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High on the political agenda

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a dramatic illustration of the extent to which the health of people, animals and the environment is interdependent, which is why “One Health” is now high on the political agenda. This document provides an overview of KfW Development Bank’s approach to promoting human, animal and environmental health. Involvement in areas like agriculture, biodiversity, health and water is already contributing to the One Health objectives. Moving forward, it will also be important to give greater consideration to interdependencies between sectors and ensure that structural connections are taken into account in cross-sectoral programmes.

Humans and animals exist both alongside each another and as part of a complex two-way relationship. In both cases, the environment provides their livelihood. Wild animals and livestock are directly relevant to humans’ ability to eat, make a living and prosper. In turn, intact ecosystems and species diversity contribute to clean air, clean water and fertile soil, which are essential to the health of humans and animals.

These interdependencies form the core of the One Health approach. It was developed under the leadership of the “tripartite collaboration”: a partnership between the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The approach brings different sectors together and operates at local, regional, national and global level. It seeks to improve health around the world, thereby contributing to sustainable development.
Its aim is to ensure that people, animals and the inhabited and uninhabited environment prosper – taking all interdependencies into account.