African Development Bank Prepares Regional Program on Drought Resilience in Greater Horn of Africa

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An African Development Bank (AfDB) mission is currently in Khartoum, Sudan, working with Government authorities and other stakeholders to develop a program intended to build resilience to droughts and provide sustainable livelihoods in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHOA). The mission is headed by AfDB livestock specialist,  Umar Lawal, together with Abdul B. Kamara, AfDB’s Resident Representative for Sudan, and various experts from the AfDB and from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The program seeks to reduce poverty, enhance food security and accelerate sustainable economic growth in the GHOA through improved rural incomes. The program is developed from the findings of a Bank-commissioned study on Sustainable Livestock Development in the GHOA, validated at a workshop in Djibouti and at the Nairobi Summit on the Horn of Africa in September 2011. The program was developed jointly with the FAO and will benefit the following countries: Djibouti, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. The estimated cost of the program for all these countries is USD 300 million, to be implemented over the next five years in selected locations based on identified needs and Government priorities.

The program will enhance sustainable livelihoods and improve drought resilience in the GHOA, through enhanced water resources development, management and availability for domestic, livestock, agricultural and energy sectors; improved livestock infrastructure for market access; improved management of rangelands to enhance forage availability in a sustainably managed environment; and improved livestock health. The program will also build human and institutional capacities to move higher on the water and livestock value chains, enhance the policy, legal and institutional environments for improved water and livestock systems, contribute to peace building and conflict resolution, and enhance regional cooperation and coordination in trans-boundary water resource management.

As the leading agency on this program, the Bank is currently in consultation with many other partners to garner support to develop the program in close collaboration, and to develop synergy and ensure sustainability of the interventions. If approved and successfully implemented, the program will go a long way in improving the living conditions, particularly of the pastoral communities in the region. It is hoped that the program will address the long existing problem of drought and floods in GHOA, stabilize the natural environment and livelihoods and build long term resilience in the region.

After Sudan, the mission will proceed to Ethiopia and then continue to the other beneficiary countries in the coming weeks.

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