G20 Pandemic Fund grants $25 mn for animal health system in India

G20 Pandemic Fund grants $25 mn for animal health system in India

New Delhi: The G20 Pandemic Fund has granted $25 million to India’s animal husbandry & dairying department to aid pandemic preparedness and response, according to the ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry & dairying.

This funding will improve India’s animal health system, a crucial part of the One Health approach for pandemic prevention.

The pandemic has underscored the critical need for integrated One Health systems to combat emerging infectious diseases that often originate in animals. A staggering five out of the six WHO-declared public health emergencies of international concern in recent decades were of animal origin, underscoring the importance of addressing animal health as a key aspect of pandemic preparedness and response.

“The G20 Pandemic Fund has approved the $25 million proposal submitted by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), Government of India on “Animal Health Security Strengthening in India for Pandemic Preparedness and Response”,” the ministry said.

Established under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, the Pandemic Fund finances critical investments to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacities at national, regional, and global levels, focusing on low- and middle-income countries, it added.

The pandemic fund received around 350 expressions of interest (EoI) and 180 full proposals in the first call with grant requests totalling more than $2.5 billion against an envelope of only $338 million. The pandemic fund’s governing board has approved 19 grants under its first round of funding allocations aimed to boost resilience to future pandemics in 37 countries across six regions on 20 July 2023.

The major interventions under the proposal are strengthening and integrating disease surveillance and early warning system, upgrading, and expanding the laboratory network, improving the inter-operable data systems and building capacity for data analytics for risk analysis and risk communication, strengthening health security for transboundary animal diseases and India’s role in regional cooperation through cross border collaboration.

According to the ministry, the pandemic fund will bring additional, dedicated resources for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. It will also incentivize increased investments, enhance coordination among partners, and serve as a platform for advocacy.

The impact of the project would be to reduce the risk that a pathogen will emerge from animals (domesticated and wildlife) to be transmitted into the human population endangering the health, nutritional security, and livelihoods of vulnerable populations, the ministry said.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank as the lead implementing entity with The World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it added.

G20 Pandemic Fund grants $25 mn for animal health system in India

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