One Health


COVID-19 is the sixth zoonotic pandemic since 1980. The frequency and severity of these events is increasing as people encroach on wildlife habitats and livestock and fish production systems intensify. Animal production systems are reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens, which are responsible for 60% of human communicable disease cases. Two-thirds of global antimicrobial use, the key driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is in livestock production. AMR causes 1.2 million deaths annually and is projected to kill 10 million people every year by 2050. Trade of animals and animal-source foods at increasing scales multiplies the health and economic risks. Livestock generate 85% of global animal fecal waste, leading to environmental degradation and human exposure to waterborne pathogens. Foodborne disease takes a toll comparable to that of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, and unsafe food costs low- and middle-income economies USD 10 billion in lost productivity and medical expenses annually but receives a small fraction of the investment from international donors. 

Solving these challenges means overcoming institutional barriers to cross-sectoral collaboration and providing stronger evidence on the importance and cost-effectiveness of incorporating One Health principles into management of food systems. 


This Initiative aims to demonstrate how One Health principles and tools integrated into food systems can help reduce and contain zoonotic disease outbreaks, improve food and water safety and reduce anti-microbial resistance, benefiting human, animal and environmental health.


This objective will be achieved through:

    • Pre-empting the emergence and spread of zoonoses with epidemic and pandemic potential at the interface of wildlife, livestock and people, including in bushmeat and farmed wildlife value chains, through surveillance and epidemiological behavioral modeling. 
    • Reducing the burden of foodborne disease with a focus on animal-source and other perishable foods, including in informal and traditional food systems. 
    • Reducing the selection and spread of AMR zoonotic pathogens from livestock, fish and crop production systems through reduced antimicrobial use coupled with surveillance and research. 
    • Improving waste and water management, with a focus on pollution from livestock and aquaculture, including zoonotic pathogens, antimicrobial residues and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and resistance genes, to reduce infectious disease risks. 
    • Testing the effects of capacity building, incentives, constraints and monitoring on behavior of value chain actors and government personnel providing support or oversight for relevant sectors. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of innovations and the private and public cases for investment. 


      This Initiative will work in the following countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Uganda and Vietnam. 


      Proposed 3-year outcomes include:

      1. Policy makers at the national level allocate more resources (finances, personnel, facilities, etc.) for zoonoses sensitization, surveillance and response. 
      2. The role of water in the transmission of pathogens and AMR, and proposed solutions for waste and water management, are recognized in national One Health planning processes of at least two countries. 
      3. One Health policy planning processes in at least three countries takes into account gendered constraints and incentives of small- and medium-scale food system actors, trade-offs across policy goals and the magnitude and distribution of impacts. 
      4. Government and private sector partners support integration of the Enabling, Capacitating, and Motivating approach for informal food business operators into regulatory systems. 
      5. At least two countries incorporate tools and targets to reduce antimicrobial use and AMR based on CGIAR evidence in their AMR action plans. 


              Projected impacts and benefits include:



              More than 11.3 million lives saved and many more lives extended via food safety measures and prevention of zoonoses and other communicable and non-communicable diseases. Reducing the prevalence of foodborne diseases, zoonoses and infections resistant to antimicrobials directly improves human health. Reducing the diarrheal disease burden improves key nutrition outcomes, including stunting and wasting. 


              More than 24.5 million people are prevented from entering poverty due to the effects of emerging zoonoses or AMR. Mitigating zoonoses, foodborne disease and AMR helps reduce poverty, as the poor disproportionately suffer from these issues.


              More than 5.8 million women and girls benefit at scale from efforts to improve food safety and prevent zoonoses, while more than 12.2 million women and girls are prevented from entering poverty. Women and youth are involved in surveillance of zoonoses and uptake of disease mitigation and food safety measures. Reducing illness reduces the burden on women of caring for the sick.


              Improved manure management through composting and use of bio-digestors reduces greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation and improves plant health and crop yields through higherquality organic fertilizers, contributing to an averted 202,756 tonnes of CO2 emissions. These efforts also reduce environmental contamination by pathogens, antimicrobial residues, and antimicrobial genes. 


              While environmental health and biodiversity is not a primary Impact Area for this Initiative, work under the Initiative will contribute to some aspects of environmental health, such as reduced water pollution and improved management of wildlife interfaces. 


              Projected benefits are a way to illustrate reasonable orders of magnitude for impacts which could arise as a result of the impact pathways set out in the Initiative’s theories of change. In line with the 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy, Initiatives contribute to these impact pathways, along with other partners and stakeholders. CGIAR does not deliver impact alone. These projections therefore estimate plausible levels of impact to which CGIAR, with partners, contribute. They do not estimate CGIAR’s attributable share of the different impact pathways.


              Header photo: A Maasai pastoralist taking livestock to drink from the Olkitikiti Dam, in Olktikiti village Kiteto, Tanzania. Photo by F. Flintan/ILRI.


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