One Health in German development cooperation

Project description

Title: Sector Initiative One Health
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Germany​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2021 to 2024

Factors in the interplay between animal health, the environment and the climate, in addition to humans and society, contribute to the spread of zoonoses, neglected tropical diseases and antimicrobial resistance. GIZ/ Detlev Tenzer


Today, there are a number of reasons to explain the elevated risk of diseases being transferred from humans to animals and vice-versa. Many factors play a role in the spread of pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics.

These include, for example, the world’s growing population, human incursion into untouched ecosystems, intensive agriculture, industrial animal production and poor animal husbandry.

In addition, pathogens know no barriers: globalisation, urbanisation and climate change are accelerating their transmission.

To address these challenges, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has adopted the One Health approach, which takes a holistic view of the interdependencies between humans, animals and the environment.


Health risks for humans and animals are reduced in the long term to prevent epidemics and pandemics, or to detect and control them at an early stage.


The project advises BMZ on implementing its One Health strategy. It identifies relevant topics at the interfaces between human, animal and environmental health and supports the Ministry in positioning itself in the appropriate global networks. The project also puts forward the findings of German development cooperation in national and international expert discussions.

Technical and strategic advice focuses on neglected tropical diseases and combating zoonoses and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), with a particular emphasis on the food and agricultural industry and land use issues.

The advisory services and positioning of BMZ and other German ministries are geared towards compliance with international standards on human health (the WHO International Health Regulations), animal health (OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code), plant health (International Plant Protection Convention) and food (FAO-WHO Codex Alimentarius).

Last updated: February 2022

Girl with a young goat. ILRI Camille Hanotte

Additional information