New fund created to tackle AMR

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

New fund created to tackle AMR

Related tags: Poultry, Pork

A new funding scheme has been established in an effort to accelerate action against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Tripartite Alliance, made up of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), has created the AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which has a five-year goal of reducing AMR.

The initiative is being supported by a US$5m contribution from the Netherlands Government, to start off the US$70m funding appeal set by the Tripartite Alliance for 2019-2020. The fund will be used primarily to provide technical support to countries that are designing National Action Plans on AMR.

The main goal of the fund is to create “a world where infectious diseases can continue to be treated with effective and safe antimicrobials and one in which resistance is monitored and controlled at a slower pace”​. Activities include awareness-raising and the drafting of national action plans, surveillance of AMR trends, and better ensuring responsible antimicrobial sales and use patterns.

Key challenges identified around AMR include: responsible use and stewardship, whilst ensuring access to existing and new antimicrobials; universally agreed priorities and mechanisms to foster innovation; and the transformation of animal husbandry to substantially reduce antimicrobial use while boosting agricultural productivity and ensuring food security and safety.

“We all have a role to play to protect the efficacy of antimicrobial agents and the AMR Trust Fund gives us the opportunity to support the efforts of the different sectors at national, regional and global levels,”​ said OIE director general Dr Monique Eloit. “AMR must be addressed in a One Health approach and supported by long-term commitments from all stakeholders. The OIE is committed to supporting the animal health sector in fulfilling its commitments to ensure that both animals and humans will continue to benefit from available and efficient antimicrobials to treat their diseases for the future.”

FAO deputy-director general, climate and natural resources Maria Helena Semedo added: “FAO is fully dedicated to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and dedicated to produce safe food for a growing world population in a sustainable way. Antimicrobials are necessary tools to ensure food security, but they need to be used in a responsible way. FAO considers the Multi Partner Trust Fund as a milestone in our Tripartite efforts to reduce AMR.”

Silent tsunami

According to the Alliance, the rise of AMR, poses a threat described as a “silent tsunami”​. It said drug-resistant microorganisms accounted for an estimated 700,000 deaths a year, a figure that could increase to 10 million deaths each year if no action was taken. 

“Combating antibiotics resistance is fundamentally a behaviour change issue. I’m not talking about washing hands more often, but about ensuring antibiotics are prescribed less readily and that work methods are changed to reduce the chance of resistant bacteria spreading,”​ said the Netherlands Medical Care and Sports Minister Bruno Bruins. “This topic is so important that it deserves to stay at the top of the international political agenda. Countries have made outstanding plans and it’s time now to carry them out. The Multi-Partner Trust Fund that we’re launching today will help us do this, because the problem is too big for countries to tackle alone.”

Related topics: Livestock, Poultry, Lamb, Pork, Beef

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