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AfDB extends Horn of Africa drought mitigation project to Djibouti and Sudan


The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has extended its multimillion multi-phased Horn of Africa drought resilience programme with a US $16-million soft loan to Djibouti and a US $14-million grant to Sudan.

The African Development Fund (ADF) loan and grant were approved by the AfDB Group’s Board on Wednesday, June 17 in Abidjan, to finance phase three of the Drought Resilience and sustainable Livelihoods Programme in the Horn of Africa (DRSLP III) in the two countries.

The DRSLP is a long-term programme to build communities’ resilience to drought and climate change, improve their livelihood and promote regional integration in the Horn of Africa. The Bank Group committed US $115.58 million to the first project under the DRSLP approved in December 2012, and US $104.26 million for DRSLP II in November 2014.

The Project will develop infrastructures for: i) water harnessing and management, and ii) agriculture and livestock production, health and marketing. It will also build the capacity of the inhabitants and governments of the participating countries to better cope with the effects of climate change, resources scarcity and conflicts related to resources utilization.

Based on wide consultations and studies commissioned by the Bank in 2008, the DRSLP is a 15- to 20-year multi-phased regional engagement to address the root causes of the drought crisis (which drives the fragility of the region), through a comprehensive and integrated list of interventions.

These include (i) support to infrastructure for water resources mobilization and management; (ii) support to infrastructure for agricultural development (with an emphasis on livestock); (iii) support to transport and sub-national and regional trade; and (iv) support to capacity building and income diversifying activities.

An estimated 20 million agro-pastoralists, half of them women affected by drought and land degradation will benefit directly or indirectly from the overall program. Other direct beneficiaries include the governments of the region whose capacities will be strengthened to enhance drought resilience development, natural resources management and shared benefits, regional integration and the Development of Regional Public Goods (RPG).

Ultimately, the project is expected to increase the income of agro-pastoralists through the improvement of the delivery of livestock related services (animal production and health, rangeland management, marketing, etc.) and the development of irrigation schemes leading to the improvement of livestock parameters (growth rate, carcass weight, milk production and offtake rate) and the productivity/production of the main crops (cereal, forages and vegetables). The diversification of the sources of livelihood and the mobilization/conservation of water resources as envisioned by the project will reduce the vulnerability of the men and women agro-pastoralists to climate change shocks and exposure to inter-/intra-community conflicts that arise from competition over access to water and rangeland resources for livestock.

Previously, the Bank supported other drought-related projects in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia. It also financed a number of emergency interventions related to droughts, floods, and locust invasion, among others in an ad hoc and on a country by country basis.

The DRSLP III covering Djibouti and Sudan will be implemented in five years at a total cost of US $33.37 million including the Bank’s US $30-million contribution and US$ 3.37 million counterpart funding by the governments concerned.

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