FAO launches new vehicle to fund antimicrobial resistance

Jersey cows
Jersey cows

Vladimir Zapletin / iStock

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has launched a new funding vehicle meant to accelerate the response to rising global rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which is being supported by an initial contribution of $5 million from the Netherlands, was developed through the joint efforts of the Tripartite—the FAO and sister UN agencies the World Organization for Animal Health, and the World Health Organization.

"The AMR Trust Fund has a five-year scope, through 2024, and aims to scale up efforts to support countries to counter the immediate threat of AMR, arguably the most complex threat to global health," the FAO said in a press release yesterday.

The Trust Fund's immediate funding appeal is $70 million, which would be used jump-start an AMR Workplan for 2019-20. Specifically, the fund will bolster countries' existing AMR action plans and scale up local efforts.

One Health approach highlighted

Typically, the FAO focuses on sending hunger and food insecurity, but a One Health approach to AMR—one the combines attacking human, animal, and environmental AMR threats—requires the FAO's input.

"FAO is fully dedicated to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and dedicated to produce safe food for a growing world population in a sustainable way," said FAO Deputy-Director General, Climate and Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo in a press release. "Antimicrobials are necessary tools to ensure food security, but they need to be used in a responsible way. FAO considers the Multi Partner Trust Fund as a milestone in our Tripartite efforts to reduce AMR," she added.

According to the UN, drug-resistant diseases cause at least 700,000 deaths globally annually, including 230,000 deaths from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. And experts predict 2.4 million people in high-income countries could die between 2015 and 2050 if currents rates of AMR continue.

See also:

Jun 19 FAO press release

April UN report on AMR

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