What we do
VSF-Suisse fights hunger and poverty in eight countries in East and West Africa. We work especially for and with people who depend on animals for their livelihood. Our actions lead to improved nutrition and food security. Additionally they generate income that gives people improved access to health services and education and thus offers a way out of poverty.
We work within the following main sectors:
We support the development of basic veterinary services by training Community Animal Health Workers and carrying out vaccination campaigns, and we advise livestock holders in the areas of breeding, hygiene and disease prevention. We reduce the impact of diseases that are transmitted from animals onto humans.
We support people with the production and marketing of their produce. We improve the access to value chains and promote economic relations as a means of confllict reduction.
We inform the Swiss public and institutions about the challenges that livestock holders face in Africa nowadays.
What we fight against
Globally, 688 million people are undernourished (FAO, 2019). Children in the poorest regions of the world are particularly hard hit: although in most cases, disease is the cause of death, 45% of children under the age of 5 die directly from malnutrition.
Hunger and malnutrition impair both physical and mental development in childhood and negatively affect health and physical resilience of adults. The main causes of hunger are natural disasters, conflicts and wars, lack of agricultural infrastructure and overuse of the environment.
Improving food security is central to all projects of VSF-Suisse and essential for a sustainable way out of poverty.
Worldwide, 734 million people live on less than US $ 1.90 per day and are thus affected by extreme poverty (World Bank, 2018). Although the situation has improved considerably in many regions of the world in recent years, people in sub-Saharan Africa continue to be disproportionately affected by extreme poverty. Over 50% of the people affected worldwide live in this region. In addition, there are millions more who find themselves only just above the poverty line and are facing similar difficulties. An estimated 500 million people living in poverty worldwide depend entirely or largely on livestock for their livelihoods (World Bank, 2019). And this is where the work of VSF-Suisse comes in: enabling sustainable development through healthy livestock and providing ways out of poverty.
In pastoral societies animals are often an important financial asset and can be exchanged for other goods. They produce food such as milk or eggs and provide meat, wool, leather and fertilizer. Animals are also used as work animals or means of transport and play an important cultural role in many rural societies.
Our year 2020 in numbers
- 42 projects
- active in 8 countries
- 263 livestock farmers trained
- 24 animal health assistants trained and supplied with the necessary material
- 150 grazing committee members trained
- 1,100 fodder farmers trained
- 8 veterinary pharmacy attendants coached
- 705’545 liters of milk processed
- 136 jobs created in the milk sector
- 1’352 school children sensitised to environmental and forest protection
- 305’919 livestock keepers supported to gain access to animal health services
- 13’560 people supported with improved access to water
- 17’350 households provided with facemasks and COVID-19 awareness sessions
- 12’610 animals distributed for income generation
- 25’250 livestock fed during emergencies
This was achieved with:
- 124 staff
- Total budget of CHF 7.7 million
Your support helps people and animals live and survive.