AU Website. The European Union (EU) and the African Union- Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) have signed financial agreements totalling Euros 28.8 million to support three new projects. The signing ceremony took place on 13 May 2010 at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda where the 8th AU Conference of Ministers responsible for Animal Resources is being held.
These projects are financed from the Development Cooperation Instrument of the Budget of the EU, more specifically from the Food Security envelope and the Food Facility set in response to soaring food prices. The projects benefiting from these funds include Livestock for Livelihoods (Euros 4.8m), the Livestock Emergency Intervention to Mitigate Food Crisis in Somalia (Euros 4m) and Vaccines for the Control of Neglected Animal Diseases in Africa (Euros 20m).
The first project aims at strengthening climate change adaptation strategies through improved management at the livestock, wildlife, and environment interface in four Trans-boundary hot spots – (WAP Parks in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, Karamajong Cluster in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan, Lake Chad in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad and Fouta Djallon in Senegal, Mali and Guinea Conakry).
The second project will increase the resilience of Somali Livestock keepers through the provision of animal health care services and vaccination of small ruminants as well as development and management of livestock marketing infrastructure.
The third project aims at reducing the impact of neglected animal diseases through an increased access and use of quality vaccines. It will tackle vaccine production, marketing strategies and quality control by independent laboratories on the continent as well as a few vaccination campaigns strategically selected.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Her Excellency Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime thanked the European Union for on behalf of the African Union for their timely assistance that would help reduce poverty and avert hunger in Africa. “I would like to register the appreciation of African Union for this significant intervention coming at a time when global food security is attracting an all time high attention and Africa in particular is in need of every help to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly Numbers 1 and 8”. On his part, the EU Head of delegation, Mr. Vincent de Visscher stresses the fact that this funding not only illustrates the importance of the livestock sector for improved well-being, but also the continuous strengthening of the privileged relationship between the African Union and the European Union.
The AU-IBAR has been receiving financial assistance from the EU to fund several other projects that include the Somali Ecosystem Rinderpest Eradication and Control Unit, Support Programme to Integrated National Action Plans for Avian and Human Influenza, Participation of African Nations in Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Standards-setting Organisations and Somali Livestock Certification Project.
Bearing in mind that these projects are particularly relevant to the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, in particular to the Partnerships on MDGs (through the priority action on the achievement of the Food Security targets), Trade, Regional Integration and Infrastructure (through the priority action to strengthen African capacities in the areas of rules, standards and quality control) and Climate Change.