FAO issues alert on River Valley Fever

DUBAI — All countries, including the UAE, should be prepared to face diseases like Rift Valley Fever, which are even more deadly than the bird flu virus, Jacques Diouf, Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned.

By Joy Sengupta

Published: Fri 6 Apr 2007, 9:29 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:37 AM

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a disease which primarily affects animals, but occasionally causes disease in humans. It may cause severe disease in both animals and humans leading to high morbidity and mortality.

Diouf issued this alert while on a visit to the UAE during which he met the Minister of Environment and Water Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi and other senior officials of the ministry.

The FAO official praised the UAE for its efforts at preventing bird flu but said it should be prepared to meet any future challenges arising out of other diseases, like the RVF.

Diouf also said that nations should start bracing themselves for the biggest-ever threat for mankind — the shortage of water.

Diouf stressed on the need to save water by all countries. “We are taking the conservation of water on a priority basis. Agriculture consumes around 70 per cent of the water. We are appealing to countries that share borders to ensure there is no conflict or clash over water,” he said.

Diouf said the stress should be on recycling of water.

“There are many countries that are not using their water resources in a proper way. They need to understand that unused water means wastage of water,” he pointed out. The officials of the UAE's Ministry of Environment and Water pointed out to the FAO official that the UAE had been focusing on recycling of water, and how most of the hotels in the emirates had already been doing this.

Diouf also had discussions with the UAE's Minister on the world food situation, implications of climate change, and the negative impact of pesticides on food safety.

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