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Mali/Niger: ICRC helps vaccinate 4.5 million animals

21-12-2011 News Release 11/264

Niamey/Geneva (ICRC) – With support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a major campaign to vaccinate 4.5 million animals and rid them of parasites has just been launched in the northern parts of Mali and Niger and in areas along the border between the two countries.

"Animal health is exceptionally important for communities in these areas, as they depend heavily on cattle breeding for their income and food security," said Jürg Eglin, the head of the ICRC regional delegation for Mali and Niger. "The economy is highly sensitive, the climate conditions are erratic and unpredictable, and food emergencies keep happening. This year, once again, the aim has to be to prevent a severe food crisis."

"Carrying out public animal-vaccination programmes is made difficult by the remoteness of certain areas, by the lack of security and by inter-community conflicts," said Mr Eglin. "These factors make it all the more necessary that we take action to support the local and national authorities."

The animals will be treated against parasites and immunized against diseases such as sheep and goat plague, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, camel pasteurellosis, and sheep and goat pox. By the time the campaign is completed in April, approximately 1.5 million animals in northern Mali, and the same number again both in northern Niger and in the border areas will have been vaccinated.

The ICRC is supporting the campaign mainly by providing medicines, supplies and veterinary equipment, by paying the daily allowances of 340 animal-health workers, and by making available some 50 vehicles and fuel.

The campaign is being conducted in partnership with the livestock ministries of Mali and Niger and in cooperation with the Mali Red Cross and the Red Cross Society of Niger.

For further information, please contact:
Germain Mwehu, ICRC Niamey, tel: +227 97 45 43 82
Steven Anderson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 20 11 or +41 79 536 92 50