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Disaster Relief: Livestock

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is towards support for working animals and livestock in areas of the world hit by natural disasters; and if he will make a statement. (205263)

The Department for International Development (DFID) recognises that many populations in the world rely heavily on working animals and livestock for their household income. Natural disasters can have a devastating impact on livestock numbers and health, cause severe damage to animal shelters and deplete fodder resources. This can result in increased vulnerability and suffering of livestock dependent, populations. DFID's humanitarian policy underlines the need to reduce risk, protect against extreme vulnerability and strengthen social protection for populations.

People who depend on livestock or the sale of livestock products for most of their income and consumption continue to fall victim to disasters, for a complex variety of reasons that include pre-existing vulnerability and also climate change. DFID has recently carried out a review of its work with such ‘pastoralists’ and developed a specific pastoralist policy paper.

DFID has provided funding to humanitarian actors for livestock projects in natural disasters, and will continue to do so where and when necessary and appropriate. DFID is also funding Tufts University’s Feinstein Centre to produce Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) for the design, implementation and assessment of livestock interventions to assist people affected by humanitarian crises.