What we stand for
Around the world, 500 million people living in poverty depend on livestock farming for their livelihoods. If the animals are not well, the livelihoods and lives of these people are at risk. Healthy animals, on the other hand, mean food and income. Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Suisse (VSF-Suisse) is committed to supporting these people and their animals in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
By promoting the health and productivity of livestock, we strengthen people’s resilience to disasters and create a sustainable improvement in their living conditions. We work in close cooperation with the local population and pay attention to the sustainable use of natural resources in line with our slogan:
Healthy Animals – Healthy People – Healthy Environment
⇒ Founded in 1988 by students of veterinary medicine at the University of Bern
⇒ 150 local staff in five Country Offices in Africa, 10 at the Head Office in Berne
⇒ Promoting animal health in fragile contexts and remote regions
⇒ Emergency aid in humanitarian crisis situations and long-term development projects
⇒ A sought-after partner for the implementation of projects with large organizations such as the UN, SDC and EU as well as foundations
Areas of activity
What our commitment achieves
⇒ Establishment of basic veterinary services by training and equipping local animal health workers
⇒ Implementation of vaccination campaigns
⇒ Advising animal owners on breeding, hygiene and disease prevention
⇒ Raising awareness of zoonoses, nature conservation and animal welfare
⇒ Distribution of healthy animals to particularly vulnerable population groups during crises
⇒ Promotion of environmentally friendly livestock farming where the soil only permits this form of use
⇒ Innovations in animal feed production
⇒ Development of value chains for the marketing of local animal products
Our activities improve the lives of individuals and entire communities. For example, Emeline Kadjatatal , the first female community animal health worker in her region in Togo, received her training and equipment from VSF-Suisse. She treats and vaccinates sheep, goats and chickens throughout the region, improving the livelihoods of many livestock farmers. Mrs. Kadjatatal earns a steady income for herself and her family through her loyal customer base.
Fight against hunger
Sustainable ways out of poverty
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.
Our vision for the future
Together with our passionate employees, supporters and partners, we contribute to reducing poverty and hunger in Africa, with the aim of eventually overcoming them completely.
We provide aid in times of need and at the same time show sustainable ways out of poverty with our long-term commitment.
People and their livestock should also have access to animal health services in remote regions.
Livestock farmers should be able to build a sustainable livelihood in harmony with the environment.
Local agriculture with its value chains should replace unnecessary imports and sustainably improve food security.
We support people on their path to independence and create sustainable perspectives together.
Will you support us?
Our work would not be possible without the support of people like you – a big thank you! There are many ways to support us: