Friday, May 09, 2003

UN Agencies Welcome Launch of Regulatory Body for Somali Livestock Exports
NEW YORK, 8 MAY 2003 (UN)--Two United Nations agencies have welcomed the launch of an initiative to set up a board to support the development and export of Somali livestock and meat products, through an improved system of disease surveillance, inspection and certification.

The UN Development Programme (<"">UNDP) and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (<"">FAO) commended the formation of a Somali Livestock Board that could help the industry to meet the requirements of importing countries of disease-free livestock and meat products originating from Somalia. It also reflects the desire of Somalis to safeguard the quality and integrity of their herds and flocks, the agencies said.

The initiative was launched at the beginning of this month under the auspices of the Somali Business Council (SBC) of the United Arab Emirates at a meeting in Dubai, where the Somali business community, including livestock and meat traders, met with Somali authorities from the Transitional National Government, Somaliland and Puntland, and with representatives from importing countries in the Middle East.

UNDP said given the critical importance of livestock sector to the Somali economy, the establishment of the Board as a regulatory authority had potential for improving the livelihoods of both rural and urban dwellers in that country.

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