The African Union InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) Thursday kick-started a rapid assessment of the impacts of the COVID–19 pandemic on animal resources in Africa, through its first-ever continent-wide online consultative meeting that aims to identify immediate mitigation measures against the effects of COVID–19 on animal resources on the continent.
Themed: “Working together for an effective response on COVID–19 impact on the animal resources sector in Africa and identification of mitigation measures,” the exercise seeks to provide a baseline for assessing the impacts of COVID–19 on the animal resources sector, and identify, medium, and long-term mitigation measures that are currently being used by AU member states.
AU-IBAR hopes to carry out the COVID-19 impact assessment through this series of consultative stakeholder meetings, follow-up surveys and stakeholder validation meetings in subsequent months.
“A key outcome of the assessment will be a statement from all stakeholders that collectively identifies responsive mechanisms that will be established by respective national governments and stakeholders to mitigate the impact of COVID–19 in African countries,” says a press statement signed by Prof. Ahmed El-Sawalhy, director of AU-IBAR, ahead of the first online consultative meeting. “On Thursday 21 May, 2020, AU-IBAR will host the first in a series of online continental consultations to introduce the assessment and obtain buy-in from all [AU] member states,” the statement added.
The virtual meeting which comprised moderated discussions and feedback on existing and planned mitigation interventions in countries had the participation of over 150 stakeholders including representatives of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of member states, directors of animal production and fisheries. Others were representatives of the private sector, donors, development partners, livestock value chain actors, researchers and academia, as well as various continental youth and women networks on livestock, fisheries and aquaculture incubation.
“Establishing mitigation measures against COVID–19 impact will be founded on important principles – subsidiarity and complementarity – that will guide member states going forward. AU-IBAR together with member states will propose a set of recommendations to help African countries better respond to the negative consequences of COVID–19 on the Animal Resources sector, including the identification of policy options to contain and mitigate the impacts of COVID–19 and approaches to protect the most vulnerable, and economic restoration,” noted the statement.
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