Livestock provide food and income for roughly 1.4 billion farmers globally, including 800 million poor livestock keepers. Livestock farming also helps women—who make up two-thirds of the small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia—meet their families’ needs: providing meat, milk and eggs for sale, collateral for loans, and savings for emergencies.
With demand for livestock products predicted to soar in coming decades, these animals provide not only vital nutrition, but represent a key source of long-term, sustainable income for the global poor.
Yet one-quarter of animals owned by poor livestock keepers die from disease. At the same time, livestock-borne diseases like Brucellosis pose an ongoing threat, increasing risks of zoonotic diseases, which can cause serious illness or death.
Developing and marketing safe, effective vaccines against these often-neglected diseases has the potential to end the cycle of poverty in which many people are trapped, while addressing a serious public health risk.
The Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund is a five-and-a-half year, CA$57 million partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada and Canada’s International Development Research Centre. It focuses on those animal diseases posing the greatest risk to poor livestock keepers in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, targeting transboundary diseases to achieve lasting regional impact.
Bringing together vaccine researchers, manufacturers and distributors, the fund accelerates the discovery of new vaccines and the improvement of existing solutions.
- Accelerate the development of new vaccines against neglected livestock diseases by supporting innovation and leading-edge research
- Increase the efficacy, marketability and use of existing livestock vaccines
- Foster effective partnerships between vaccine researchers and public and private sector actors to more efficiently develop, register, commercialize, and deploy livestock vaccines.
Following the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund’s first call for proposals, “Innovations in livestock vaccines”, the first set of projects have been funded. Collectively, they represent a cross-section of disciplines, diseases, and regional hotspots, and all present the potential to profoundly transform the lives of smallholder livestock farmers for the better.
Cutting Edge Ideas and Vaccine Development:
- African swine fever
- Avian influenza
- East Coast fever
- Hemorrhagic septicemia
- Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia
- Foot and mouth disease
Vaccine Improvement and Manufacturing:
- Rift Valley fever, Pasteurella, and Enterotoxemia
- Newcastle disease
- Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia – Heartwater
- CRISPR/cas9 gene editing platform
- Rift Valley fever
- East Coast fever
The Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund supports research into vaccine solutions, through a series of global competitive calls. Announcements and details on eligibility and thematic focus for funding opportunities will be posted on IDRC’s grants page.