CGIAR COVID-19 Research Response: One Health


COVID-19 has drawn worldwide attention to zoonoses – diseases transmitted between animals and people. However, zoonotic diseases are not uncommon – a new zoonosis breaks out on average every four months. This is the predictable consequence of the ever-intensifying interactions among humans, animals and the natural world. Zoonotic diseases develop and intensify when human and wildlife interactions increase, often due to habitat loss hand-in-hand with intensified agriculture and food markets.

The CGIAR research response to COVID-19 addresses four thematic areas to maximize the relevance and utility of support to policymakers and practitioners. In addition to One Health, research will also focus on food systems, inclusive public programs, and policies and investments.

Researchers across the CGIAR system will work to manage the human, animal and environmental health interface to improve prevention of, detection of, and response to emerging and endemic zoonoses. One Health research will carry through and evolve during the different stages of the pandemic:

  • As a crisis response in the short term, researchers will provide evidence and information on disease risks from an integrated human-animal-environment perspective and maintain key food safety and One Health programs, ensuring that disease control strategies help rather than harm poor men, women, and children.
  • In the medium-term recovery phase, work will focus on strengthening risk-based food safety approaches appropriate for informal marketplaces, developing One Health and risk-based approaches for key public health risks in agriculture-environment management, and improving management of emerging zoonoses and agriculture-associated antimicrobial resistance.
  • To build long-term resilience, researchers will implement practices for better managing the agriculture-environment interface, including aquatic systems and forests and reduce the risk of emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases by improving rapid detection and response to emerging diseases.

Learn more about the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub, and CGIAR research on COVID-19.