The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says it needs US$7.5 million to fund a critically urgent livestock vaccination campaign before the start of the rainy season in South Sudan.
In a statement, the FAO said nearly 9 million animals should be vaccinated before the end of March to combat frequent outbreaks of animal diseases. The vaccination programme requires a total of US$10 million, but the FAO presently only has US$2.5 million.
The vaccination roll-out will focus on common South Sudanese livestock diseases. FAO Country Representative Serge Tissot said they are scrambling to reach many areas of the country that will be rendered inaccessible once the rains start.
To date, more than 300 000 animals have been vaccinated against prevalent diseases in the Aweil State. The funds sought by FAO will also be used to build 3 new cold chain hubs for vaccines in remote areas to make animal health care services more accessible.
Due to the absence of veterinary services, most livestock owners in South Sudan are forced to use herbs to treat sick animals. In 2017, the FAO’s Emergency Livestock Response Programme trained 1 000 community-based animal health workers to spread veterinary services to remote areas.