US Supports Livestock Sector Emergency Preparedness

Islamabad: Two top veterinary emergency response experts affiliated with the international Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) Project arrived in Islamabad today to lead a weeklong train-the-trainer workshop for Pakistan’s emergency response officials.

The LEGS Project is partnering with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to enhance emergency preparedness within Pakistan’s livestock sector. The training will provide skills and materials to enable participants to become LEGS Trainers, who will then be able to train additional people in their organizations and regions.

Speaking at the first day of training, USDA Animal Health Advisor Dr. Jack Mortenson said, “This training is one of the first steps for animal emergency plans at the local level across Pakistan. This advanced planning will contribute to minimizing animal deaths and decreased production during natural disasters.”

The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) is a set of international procedures for the design, implementation, and assessment of livestock interventions to assist people affected by humanitarian crises. They are based on livelihood objectives that aim to provide rapid assistance to protect and rebuild the livestock assets of crisis-affected communities. LEGS works to develop closer linkages between relief and development work, to save not just lives, but also livelihoods.

Pakistan’s livestock sector contributes 11.5% to national GDP and 55.1% to the agriculture sector’s overall value. The livestock sector is dependent on sufficient natural resources and market access to survive and prosper. Emergencies therefore can have devastating effects on the industry and local livelihoods.