Cross-sectoral activities to reduce health threats at the Human-Animal-Ecosystems Interface

The WHO is engaging in an ever-increasing number of cross sectoral activities to address health threats at the human-animal-ecosystem interface. These threats include existing and emerging zoonoses including food-borne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety.

Activities are implemented at the country and regional level, and at the international level by many departments within WHO headquarters. The WHO collaborates closely with a variety of partners, including national ministries of health, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank, and UNSIC, among many others.

However, because working collaboratively together is becoming “business as usual”, not just for WHO and the tripartite, but for member countries and other partners, the borders of our activities are becoming indistinct, with different activities overlapping and blending together across diseases and among different participating agencies and partners and administrative levels. Strengthening the health systems within each sector not only benefits countries and allows them to meet their obligations under the WHO International Health Regulations, but also allows cross-sectoral activities to function more effectively. As well, alignment is crucial. Relationships and policy built at the international level and cross-sectoral activities conducted in the global context can be reflected in regions and countries, and local needs are taken into account when building new global activities and setting priorities.

Please click on the links below to find out more about specific cross-sectoral activities ongoing at WHO.


  • Tripartite (FAO-OIE-WHO) Collaboration
  • Codex Alimentarius
  • Joint ministerial process
  • Codex trust fund
  • Stone Mountain Meeting follow up

  • Global Early Warning System (GLEWS)
  • Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN)
  • WHO-OFFLU collaboration

  • Tripartite Four-Way Linking Project for HPAI H5N1
  • Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers
  • The Global Leptospirosis Environmental Action Network
  • Increasing resilience to vector-borne diseases under climate change conditions in Africa project

Regionally, strategies that address cross-sectoral issues are being developed such as the Asia Pacific Strategy on Emerging Diseases (ASPED). In the Americas, the “RIMSA” meeting , organized by PAHO/AMRO/PANAFTOSA, brings together ministers of animal health public health (and in 2012, ministers of environment) to discuss cross sectoral issues important to the region.