The project will concentrate on strategic interventions with high efficiency and leverage potential of which implementing partners have a clear comparative advantage and added value. To ensure complementarity and avoid duplication of efforts, selection of activities to address the identified problem areas, will take into account interventions of other regional and continental projects such as the EU-funded programme on Supporting the Horn of Africa's Resilience (SHARE) which targets the pastoral areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia through country PPR control projects , SMP – AH and LITS.
To complement and fast-track implementation of the national SHARE PPR control programmes in pastoral areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the project will support development of regional and national control strategies and the establishment of a regional coordination mechanism for the control of PPR. Recognizing that the focus of SHARE country programmes is on pastoral areas of four IGAD MSs, this project will give more emphasis to areas and MSs which are not covered by the SHARE initiative in relation to PPR surveillance.
Furthermore, the above problem area is also expected to be indirectly addressed by other AU-IBAR continental projects such as the on-going VetGov project which is undertaking large scale advocacy activities to improve policies and legislation with a view to increasing investments in the animal health sector.
Consequently, the main focus areas of this project will be the following two problem areas:
- The inadequacy of surveillance systems: The core of this intervention will be addressing problems responsible for weak surveillance systems in the IGAD region, and thus it will mainly concentrate its efforts on the reinforcement of surveillance capacities as well as the adoption and implementation of new surveillance approaches such as risk-based and syndromic surveillance techniques.
- The weakness of identification, traceability and certification systems: The project will build on the lessons learnt and the achievements of SOLICEP in addressing the identified problems related to certification, animal identification and traceability in the region. The focus will be on development of regionally harmonized guidelines and capacity building programmes to promote piloting of recommended identification and traceability systems as well as adoption of a risk-based certification system in the region. While selecting activities under this problem area, the project will examine interventions and coverage areas of other complementary projects, particularly SMP – AH. Given that the USAID-funded SMP – AH project does not cover Eritrea and Sudan, this project will fill the gap left by SMP – AH by implementing similar activities in those two countries with the view to promoting regional harmonization.
Effective surveillance systems will enable early detection to trigger rapid response and mitigation measures against emerging and re-emerging diseases. The preferred intervention options are strengthening surveillance and systems for animal identification, traceability and health certification in the IGAD region, with emphasis on interventions with a regional dimension such as coordination, harmonization and capacity building as articulated in the strategic programmes of AU - IBAR. By strengthening surveillance systems and promoting new techniques such as risk-based surveillance approaches, the project will build capabilities of MSs for early detection of not only prevalent trade-sensitive diseases but also eradicated and emerging diseases such as rinderpest and others. Activities targeting the adoption and promotion of a suitable identification and traceability system as well as a risk-based certification system would enhance trade of livestock and livestock products in the region.
This project will enable generation of data and information necessary for evidence-based policy and strategy formulation as flagged by the Vet-Gov project in the quest to enhance public and private investment in the livestock sector. The project will also contribute to enhancement of resilience through better protection of small ruminants, which are the main livelihood assets of pastoral communities, by supporting coordination of PPR control and improved epidemiological understanding of other small ruminant diseases.