Disease has a direct and immediate effect on a community, but, in addition, if the community is not able to recover from the impact of a disease on their health and livelihoods, the consequences of an outbreak can persist even after the disease is no longer present. Stability, therefore, depends on a variety of factors, including the ability of a community to overcome the effects of a disease outbreak or other destabilising event. The FAO approach to helping families and communities to cope with the destabilizing effects of animal diseases is to build resilience, particularly amongst the most vulnerable households. This requires individuals and governments to gain a better understanding of what drives disease at the interface between human and animal health. In addition, it requires governments to invest in social protection programmes, establish a long-term risk reduction strategy that decreases vulnerability, and improve the sustainability of safe agricultural and marketing practices.