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BRIEFSeptember 12, 2023

The Pandemic Fund: Animal Health Security Strengthening for Pandemic Preparedness and Response in India

This is one of 19 projects to which a grant was awarded by the Pandemic Fund under the First Call for Proposals.  For information on the full set of projects supported by the First Call for Proposals, please refer to this press release


Pandemic Fund Grant: Republic of India


The Animal Health Security Strengthening for Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project in India is a partnership between India’s Ministry of Animal Husbandry (specifically the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy), three Implementing Entities (IEs), including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), FAO, and the World Bank, and supporting delivery partners including the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC). The Project is supported by a $25 million grant from the Pandemic Fund and is expected to leverage $25 million in co-financing and an additional $257 million in co-investment to support India’s plans to strengthen animal health security. This Project complements the investments that India is making in human health security under India’s newly launched policy, One Health Mission (2022-23). 

Since the International Health Regulations were put into place in 2005, WHO has declared six public health emergencies of international concern and five of these have had animal origin. Animal health security is of vital importance in India, given that the country has the largest livestock population in the world, with about 540 million livestock. Poultry numbers are estimated at 850 million. 

Project objectives

The overall goal of the Project is to protect the livelihoods of livestock farmers and livestock’s contribution to the economy, bolster efforts for women’s economic empowerment, and support human health and nutrition by reducing the potential threat of zoonotic diseases in 12 states across India.  The specific project objectives include supporting One Health operationalization and coordination efforts across states and at the border, including surveillance for antimicrobial resistance (AMR); building human resource capacity to undertake One Health with a focus on professional skills enhancement in public health, animal health, wildlife, and the environment; and supporting institutional capacity building and systems strengthening at the state level. 

Implementation arrangements and key components

India’s Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy (DAHD) will have the ultimate responsibility for overall project implementation. For activities that involve neighboring countries, regional-level activities will be implemented through either existing bilateral mechanisms or regional cooperation platforms such as SASEC with the support of the IEs. Civil society will be engaged to support on-the-ground implementation of relevant activities. Both the ADB and the World Bank will serve as the IEs responsible for the co-financing arrangements.   

The grant will finance activities across the following key areas. Implementing Entity support is indicated under each component of the activity. 

  1. Establishing a passive surveillance system. Through existing project financing, the Project will establish passive surveillance for priority diseases including zoonotic diseases, diseases of economic importance, and antimicrobial usage and resistance in food animals across 12 states. The Project will complement the existing sero-surveillance system and expand its scope through the inclusion of environmental surveillance that focuses on genomics, food safety, and AMR. Through this intervention, the Project will set up district and state level units through the State One Health Support Units (SOHSU) which will coordinate animal health surveillance (ADB and World Bank).
  2. Upgrading laboratory infrastructure and information systems. The activities in this component will include upgrading infrastructure and technical components of laboratories across the participating 12 states, with a special focus on laboratories in rural areas that cover areas with pastoralists and smallholder farmers. With the support of the DAHD, ADB and World Bank-financed projects, new and existing university-affiliated laboratories will be established or supported with diagnostic capacity and quality system upgrades. The Project will also support the development of laboratory information systems for the strengthening of public and private disease surveillance networks. This will include state-wide rollout of systems that include a data analytics platform while building the capacity of district and SOHSU units to use predictive analytics to inform preparedness for seasonal outbreaks (ADB and World Bank).
  3. Strengthening the capacity and competency of veterinary professionals and paraprofessionals. The Project will support updating the competency-based training modules for veterinarians and paraprofessionals as well as the capacity strengthening of the training facilities. The Project will provide training modules for veterinary professionals in collaboration with National One Health Support Units (NOHSU) and State One Health Support Units (SOHSU). Additionally, the activity will support in-service training for veterinarians in each of the 12 states over a 5-year period (ADB and World Bank). 
  4. Improving institutional capacity to support One Health Operationalization. The Project will focus on building the institutional capacity of NOHSU as a center of excellence. The Project will be involved in establishing an inter-disciplinary team trained in disease epidemiology, veterinary sciences, microbiology, social sciences, data, and policy. NOSHU will be involved in conducting quality needs assessments of the laboratories and will be specifically responsible for quality management. The Project will also provide technical assistance to the SOHSUs in harmonizing and developing One Health state action plans (ADB, FAO, World Bank).

Expected outcomes

The Project is expected to increase the efficiency of laboratory systems to detect pathogens of epidemic potential and to equip labs to handle high consequence biological agents; improve integrated surveillance systems capacity to provide accurate and timely data; strengthen veterinarian and paraprofessionals’ capacity to meet the competency requirement for a quadripartite One Health; and improve institutional capacity to support operationalization of the country’s One Health policy. Over the long-term, it is expected that these outcomes will result in improved capacity to prevent, detect and respond to threats from animal diseases and AMR in India and across neighboring countries. The Project has output goals that express expected results in terms of the Joint External Evaluation Tool Third Edition levels, with the goal to reach level 4 (demonstrated capacity) in major areas. 


Key Financial Statistics

Amount Approved (US$)Total Co-financing
(in kind & in cash) (US$)
Total Co-investment
(in kind & in cash) (US$)
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