In Africa, millions of people survive by their livestock. Yet veterinary care is often insufficiently available. When farmers lose their herds to disease, drought or conflict, they lose everything: their pride, their culture, their savings and their livelihood. By helping to care for livestock and improve production, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium supports local populations in their struggle against hunger and poverty.


  • Animal health

    Veterinary care in remote rural areas of Africa is often inadequate to ensure the optimum health of the herds. It is therefore essential for livestock keepers to create integrated veterinary networks. We encourage private veterinarians to set up a practice in rural areas, we train livestock keepers to become community animal health workers and we support national and local authorities responsible for livestock. This network looks after the health of the animals and raises the farmers' awareness of, in particular, the need for preventive and curative care and the quality and storage of feed.

  • Environment

    Climate change is increasingly responsible for damage on the African continent with prolonged droughts and devastating rains. Water and pastures are scarce. We support local water and pasture management committees which build and maintain water points above and below ground and assure compliance with respect to pasture agreements. The communities also create firebreaks to prevent fires destroying hundreds of hectares of grassland. They also build livestock 'corridors' to prevent transhumance from damaging forest and agricultural areas.

  • Animals

    Large animals (cows, camels and donkeys) and small animals (goats, sheep, pigs, poultry, guinea-pigs and rabbits) are a source of food and income. They play a predominant role in food security and the local economy, and have an important social role, among others, in religious dowries and celebrations. Large animals are used for transport and constitute a ploughing force. Animals provide manure for growing crops in the fields. When people lose their herd, they lose their pride, their culture, their savings, and their food. By caring for the cattle and by increasing their production, together with the local population, we fight hunger and poverty.

  • Trade

    In sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of the population lives off livestock farming. It is the principal engine of the local economy. By improving livestock production and access to markets, we fight hunger and poverty. We raise the awareness of livestock keepers to improve hygiene during milking and we support local cooperatives that market dairy products. We encourage agro-pastoralists to use the manure of their animals for their land in order to increase their production of fruit and vegetables. We also support villages in the creation of community banks that grant microcredits to their members for income generating activities.

  • Training

    Thanks to participative and practical training where traditional knowledge is complemented with new insights, the African livestock keepers can better organize their future. They learn how to recognize and treat diseases; they learn how to read, write, and count; they learn how to negotiate, to keep accounting records; they learn the best way to nourish their animals; they learn how to increase their animal production...

  • Peace

    Peace is essential to the sustainable development of the local communities, livestock trade and the economy. In regions where water and grasslands are scarce, rival communities fight over feed and water for their animals. Armed cattle raids are not uncommon. We encourage representatives of opposing communities to reach agreements on the areas in which the various herds can graze and water.

  • Women

    Women play an important role in the local economy and the family, but in a number of African countries, they do not have the chance to fully develop themselves. The roles of men and women are strictly defined, including within livestock keeping. For certain animals, women have a right of ownership, for others, only a right of use. We support women by increasing their dignity and their economic independence via livestock keeping with, among other things, microcredit, training, and the distribution of small livestock.

Milk moustaches and healthy animals in Malian refugee camp

01 September 2016 -

‘Smiling faces and milk moustaches, three times a week this scenario is guaranteed in the refugee camp’, explains Hama Boureima Dicko from Vétérinaires Sans Frontièrs Belgium in Burkina Faso. ‘We buy milk from local diaries and afterwards we transport it to the refugee sites. It’s a way of supporting two groups at the same time: the refugees and the local woman who are in charge of the milk production.’

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Developing the Zootechnical Analysis Kit: a look back

16 July 2014

Six months ago, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium started developing a tool to monitor zootechnical performances in Sub-Saharan countries. It is called the "Zootechnical Analysis Kit". Today, we look back at the project.

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ZAK: first test in Burkina Faso a success

25 April 2014

Through funding by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is developing a tool to monitor zootechnical performances in Sub-Saharan countries. The tool is called the "Zootechnical Analysis Kit". ZAK has now been tested for the first time, with success.

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In 2013, your support helped people climb out of poverty

31 March 2014 -

“We will build a better future for everyone by giving people the freedom and the power to build a better future for themselves and their families.”  These wise words came from Melinda Gates, wife of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.  It is likewise a slogan adopted by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières.  With your support and commitment, thousands of livestock keepers were able to improve their standard of living in 2013.  Here is a brief glimpse into some of the achievements you made possible!

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ZAK: An update from the software developer

Geschreven door Guy Detienne on 02 April 2014

Through funding by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is developing a tool to monitor zootechnical performances in Sub-Saharan countries. Today, software developer Guy Detienne shows you ZAK's most recent layout.

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