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PAHO and IICA to support food safety, food security, and One Health projects in the Americas

El acuerdo fue firmado por la Directora de la OPS, Carissa Etienne, y el Director General del IICA, Manuel Otero.
The agreement was signed by Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director, and Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA.

San Jose, 30 August 2021 (IICA). The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) will work together to support the countries of the Americas in improving the health and prosperity of rural areas, thereby benefiting the region’s economies.

Priority work areas include One Health and management mechanisms related to food safety programs, antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases.

The agreement was signed by Carissa Etienne, PAHO Director, and Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA.

“We signed this agreement to work together against hunger and disease, to safeguard the health and well-being of the people of the Americas. The current times demand our best efforts to ensure the countries stay committed to their development agendas and address the problems threatening health and agriculture”, stated Etienne.

“The One Health policy guides the countries in the actions they must take based on the experience of the actors involved. We’re convinced that we can navigate these challenges only if the health and agriculture sectors work together”, she added.

Manuel Otero expressed that joining forces is essential to tackle the current challenges. He explained that the topic will be discussed on 1-2 September in the framework of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2021 organized by IICA, at which they will analyze the environmental, social and economic challenges facing the agri-food systems in anticipation of the UN Summit.

“We are going to decide on concrete actions for the many issues we have in common. Both of our institutions work for the well-being of the people: the PAHO from a health standpoint and us from agricultural and rural development, under the philosophy of health focused on animal, environmental and human health”, stated Otero.

In 1983, PAHO and IICA signed a permanent general cooperation agreement that has been updated several times in last 19 years based on the challenges and concerns shared by the agencies.

The common objectives are to contribute to increasing and improving production, health and rural life in the member states of both entities within the Inter-American System.

Following the most recent renewal of the alliance, actions will be aimed at promoting implementation of a culture of effective policies, regulations and programs on food health in the countries of the Americas, including Codex Alimentarius, and exchanging information and experiences on food-related risk analysis.

More information:
Institutional Communication Division.