Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), also known as sheep and goat plague, is a highly contagious and devastating animal disease affecting small ruminants. It is caused by a virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus, family Paramixoviridae. Once newly introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard, and the disease kills anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of infected animals. The PPR virus does not infect humans.

PPR was first described in 1942 in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa. Since then the disease has spread to large regions in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe. Today, more than 70 countries are affected or at high risk and many more are without an official PPR status. PPR infected and at risk countries are home to approximately 1.7 billion heads – around 80 percent – of the global population of sheep and goats. PPR causes annual economic losses of up to USD 2.1 billion. Looking beyond this figure, 300 million families are at risk of losing their livelihoods, food security, and employment opportunities.

Small ruminants - totaling 2.1 billion heads worldwide according to FAOSTAT - are the primary livestock resource of many poor rural families around the globe, including subsistence farmers and landless villagers as well as pastoralists. For these households, sheep and goats are a source of food and regular income, a means to capitalize savings, and a safety net during times of hardship. Small ruminants are well adapted to arid and semi-arid environments, and are kept in a variety of production systems throughout the world

The PPR Global Control and Eradication Strategy (PPR GCES) was endorsed at the International Conference for the Control and Eradication of PPR, organized by FAO and OIE in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 31 March–2 April 2015. Eradication of the disease by 2030 is its main goal. The strengthening of veterinary services (VS) envisaged in support of stamping out PPR will also help to control other small ruminant diseases prioritized by stakeholders.

To drive the PPR eradication effort on a global scale and effectively support countries in fighting the disease, and building on the efforts of the FAO-OIE Global Framework of the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs), FAO and OIE established a Joint PPR Secretariat in March 2016, which report to the GF-TADs Management Committee for coordination with other GF-TADs initiatives. In October 2016, an initial PPR Global Eradication Programme (PPR GEP) for 2017-2021, which had been developed through an inclusive and peer-reviewed drafting process, was launched by FAO and OIE to put the PPR GCES into action.

The PPR GEP is a multi-country, multi-stage process that will decrease epidemiological risk levels and increase prevention and control. The four stages it sets out involve assessment, control, eradication and maintenance of PPR-free status. Regardless of the stage in which a country initially places itself, it will be supported to achieve the capacity it needs for the five key elements of PPR prevention and control: diagnostic system; surveillance system; prevention and control system; legal framework; and stakeholder involvement. Putting these five elements in place will enable any country to move with confidence to the next stage of control and eradication.

The PPR Monitoring and Assessment Tool (PMAT), as companion tool of the PPR GCES measures activities and their impacts at each stage by requiring countries to input epidemiological and activities-based evidence, which it converts into guidance and milestones.

To better manage the transboundary nature of PPR, the PPR GCES identifies nine regions/subregions and promotes regular regional coordination meetings and exchange of information between stakeholders. The PPR GEP additionally introduces an epizone approach, which combines regions/areas with similar epidemiology into zones and requires concerted control and eradication efforts across regional borders.