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The Global Effort to Eradicate Rinderpest - International Food Policy ...

The Global Effort to Eradicate Rinderpest - International Food Policy ...

6. INTERNATIONAL

6. INTERNATIONAL COORDINATION OF RINDERPEST ERADICATION Conceived in 1992 and operationally prepared in 1993, the GREP has operated under the auspices of the FAO Animal Health Service’s Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES) to provide a coordination mechanism and source of technical guidance since 1994. Although the FAO initiated the GREP and hosts the GREP secretariat, the program should be viewed as the sum total of all activities that contributed to the final eradication of rinderpest in 1993. The GREP was designed from the outset as a program rather than as a campaign, and one of its most valuable attributes has been that it is a time-bound program with a deadline of 2010 for accredited global freedom. An initial concept of the GREP was that rinderpest-control activities would proceed with international coordination on three fronts: PARC in Africa, the West Asian Rinderpest Eradication Campaign (WAREC), and the South Asian Rinderpest Eradication Campaign (SAREC) (Figure 3). The international community would fund these campaigns, often with nominal national contributions, and regional organizations would implement them. The first of these, the PARC, was implemented by the OAU IBAR with EC funding from 1986 to 1998. WAREC, with United Nations Development Programme funding, brought coordination to the Middle East until the Gulf War caused its collapse by 1994. SAREC was never implemented although the EC did fund a number of national projects in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan that contributed significantly to the South Asian rinderpest eradication process. Figure 3. The campaigns that were expected to implement GREP Source: FAO GREP. PARC W AREC [Middle Asia] W AREC [A rabian Pe ninsula ] SA REC The GREP’s role in Africa was largely to advise the AU IBAR on technical issues and to fill lacunae within the PARC/PACE by providing complementary programs for areas of special need such as the Sudan. In Africa, relationships between the international organizations involved in the PARC and PACE—the EC, the AU, and the FAO—were not always smooth as differences emerged at times over the projects’ diversification into broader development issues, the technical approach taken to eliminating rinderpest from countries, and program resource management. Although disputes might have delayed the 24

eradication effort somewhat and constrained the sourcing of funding, fortunately these did not prevent the timely eradication of rinderpest. Immediately after the inception of the GREP in 1994, the program undertook a series of epidemiological studies to determine the global extent of rinderpest infection and the means by which it was being maintained. This analysis identified seven areas of concern that could have been acting as reservoirs of infection in 1997 (Figure 4). In 1998, GREP Technical Consultation and EMPRES Expert Consultation meetings in Rome (FAO 1998) advised that the continuing presence of foci of rinderpest persistence could not be regarded as matters of local concern but called for concerted action to eliminate them within five years (FAO 1998). These areas became the focus of a five-year Intensified GREP, which was initiated in 1999 to clarify rinderpest status and eliminate infection if found. The areas to be addressed were southern Sudan, the Somali ecosystem, the Arabian Peninsula, the Kurdish Triangle (Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, actually rinderpest free since 1996), Pakistan with Afghanistan, the southern part of peninsular India (from where the virus had actually been eliminated in 1995) and the adjacent areas of Mongolia, China, and Russia (in none of which was there persisting infection). The PARC largely catered to the African foci but, in Asia, the GREP secretariat had to source funding for, manage, and coordinate the required programs of rinderpest control and accreditation. Although going against its advisory mandate, the GREP secretariat’s operation of rinderpest control and surveillance programs in key countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, and Yemen contributed greatly to the success of the global program. These were conducted with a combination of FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) funding, donor trust funds, primarily from the EC and the United States, and by incorporating rinderpest control into humanitarian aid programs such as those in Sudan (Operation Lifeline Sudan), Iraq (U.N. Oil For Food Programme) and Afghanistan, linked to supportive FAO Regular Programme funding. These projects were well received by recipient countries with which the GREP secretariat had developed a close and cordial working relationship. Figure 5 indicates the last cases of rinderpest known to have occurred, and illustrates the progress achieved. In fact we can now see that the target of the Intensified GREP was achieved by 2001. Figure 4. The seven known or suspected reservoirs of rinderpest virus infection in 1996, indicating the lineages of virus involved Source: FAO GREP. Lin eage 1 Lin eage 2 Lin eage 3 25

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