Darfur UN begins campaign to distribute livestock vaccines
Enough vaccines to immunize 1.2 million animals – including cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys and camels – will be handed out in Darfur’s three states over the next two months, thanks to the efforts of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The vaccines include treatments against haemorrhagic septicaemia, anthrax, sheep pox and black quarter, according to Emmanuel Lujuo, the senior emergency coordinator for the agency in Sudan.“Livestock comprises a greater part of the livelihoods of many people in Darfur… so the impact of this is huge for them,” said Mr. Lujuo. Pastoralists, herders and nomadic communities all stand to benefit from the programme, he noted.FAO has procured the vaccines, which are then airlifted from the national capital, Khartoum, to Darfur by the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping operation in the region (UNAMID). The first batch was flown out yesterday.Within the region, FAO is working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and officials from the ministries of animal resources in the various Darfur states to train local veterinarians and ensure that the vaccines are adequately distributed and administered.Major animal vaccine campaigns often take place twice a year during the normally arid Darfur region, with one during the current rainy season, when many animals are more susceptible.Oriano Micaletti, the head of UNAMID’s humanitarian protection strategy coordination division, said about 800 kilograms of vaccines will eventually be airlifted under this campaign. The vaccines have to be kept at optimum temperatures during their transport to ensure they arrive in good condition.Mr. Micaletti said the outpouring of thanks which UNAMID has received since the campaign was begin was an indication of the important of livestock to the economic health of many local communities in Darfur. 26 August 2011The United Nations has begun distributing the first batch of more than a million vaccines across Darfur in a bid to protect livestock and other animals in the western Sudanese region from deadly diseases during the current rainy season.