As a follow up of the Donor Round Table of the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) meeting which took place at the OIE Headquarters last September, The Netherlands Government has donated 900,000 euros over three years for the implementation of the Standards and Trade Development Facility in the sanitary and phytosanitary area. A further contribution of CHF (Swiss Francs) 550,000 has been made by the Government of Denmark.
At the September meeting, in addition to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, The Netherlands, Denmark, France and several other donors had pledged to contribute to the STDF, expressing their strong interest and support in capacity building activities in the sanitary and phytosanitary area through to the concept of STDF1.
The Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr Bernard Vallat, indicated that the contribution of The Netherlands and Denmark shows the real interest of donors in assisting developing countries on how to develop relevant actions for STDF grants.
"These contributions represent an important progress towards assisting developing countries enhance their expertise and capacity to gain and maintain market access through the implementation of the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) agreement."Dr Vallat explained.
"In the case of the implementation of the international standards adopted by OIE Member Countries, the support given by the STDF will certainly have positive consequences on the access of animals and animal products to regional and international markets in Member Countries. Also, it will have a positive effect on poverty reduction through the increase of animal production as a result of the sanitary programmes implemented in compliance with these standards. The same positive effects will occur in public health and food safety due to the control of animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans." Dr Vallat added and "the national and global economic and social benefits which are linked to the standards implementation will certainly be significant", he concluded.
STDF funding for OIE projects will help for the implementation of a specific livestock development platform for Africa, called ALive (African Livestock). One of the goals of this project is to strengthen national Veterinary Services which are in charge of the implementation of OIE standards at national level.
In September, two other projects presented by the OIE addressing the training of trainers in the development and implementation of OIE standards by national representatives (Delegates) and Veterinary Services in all OIE Member Countries, and a new tool for evaluation of Veterinary Services compliance with OIE international quality standards in South America and Africa were approved and funded for immediate implementation.
The total amount allocated by the STDF to the new OIE programmes is currently of around 500,000 US$.
1The STDF is a joint initiative between the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, World Bank, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and Food and Agriculture Organization.