FAO-IGAD renew drought resilience partnership programme

FAO-IGAD renew drought resilience partnership programme

29/04/2016

FAO Sub-Regional Office for East Africa and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have signed a partnership agreement to coordinate cross-border efforts on animal health, trade and natural resources management coordination. The programme will address community engagement on policy and investment as well as cross cutting areas of work such as conflict, gender and nutrition. Targeted communities on Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia borders will both be beneficiaries as well as key stakeholders in defining the investment and development agenda.

The official signing ceremony was conducted during the opening ceremony at IGAD’s Drought Resilience General Assembly at the Laico Regency in the presence of a high-level delegation including Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Devolution and Planning Honourable Mwangi Kiunjuri, IGAD’s executive Secretary Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, Kenya’s Council of Governor’s Arid and Semi-Arid Land Chairman Ali Roba, the Ethiopia’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, representatives from various UN agencies and development partners.

Speaking at the event, Honourable Kiunjuri acknowledged the role of partnerships in addressing the problem of drought emergencies urging partners to continue building coalitions with the common goal of ending drought emergencies. “We can go further and explore areas where further policy harmonization would be beneficial for drought affected communities.  Some examples might be social protection cross-border mobility, livestock health or trade.  These policy processes tend to be lengthy and complex so let us move quickly to identify any areas where such work would be beneficial and take the necessary action together”, he urged.

The five year project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Corporation (SDC) with a budget of USD 10 million over 5 years and will be jointly managed and implemented by FAO and IGAD. The event comes four years after The Declaration of the first Resilience Summit on “Ending Drought Emergencies in the Horn of Africa” held in Nairobi in September 2011.  The summit called for the establishment of a Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), giving IGAD the role to lead and coordinate efforts aimed at implementing the objectives of the initiative.

Ending Drought Emergencies in the Horn of Africa Region

The newly signed agreement will support programmes geared towards building resilience of cross-border communities, including selected cross-border locations of Ethiopia (Liben), Kenya (Mandera) and Somalia (Gedo).  The target areas encompass the watershed of the Dawa River which forms part of the Ethiopia-Somalia and Ethiopia-Kenya border that is characterized by high food insecurity, conflict and insecurity caused by political strife and tribal competition for pasture and water, among other natural resources.

Addressing participants at the event, FAO’s Sub Regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa Patrick Kormawa assured partners that previous programmes and experience have helped shape this new intervention that is geared towards bridging relationships between communities and national systems: “The programme support to communities and other beneficiaries will be provided not as an end in itself, but as a means towards strengthening national systems and institutions to better deliver investment plans and programmes in cross-border areas.  This programme we are signing today embraces the principle of investing nationally while thinking regionally to ensure coherent and harmonized action across countries in the region”, he said.

The partnership is a follow-up project based on a joint regional initiative in support of vulnerable pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. The IGAD-FAO Partnership Programme on Resilience (PP) is embedded in IDDRSI, which provides a common framework for government, humanitarian and development partners to build the resilience of populations frequently affected by drought. The partnership is in line with FAO’s strategic objective five on building resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises and to FAO’s Regional Initiative three on building resilience in the dry lands of Africa.

FAO-IGAD partnerships

FAO is currently partnering with IGAD on various projects that include the Regional Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), a coordinating platform in East and Central Africa.  The joint platform focuses on food security, nutrition and situation analysis as well as information, advocacy, policy and practice and other cross cutting areas.  It currently covers Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

FAO is also working jointly with IGAD through a technical cooperation programme (TCP) created to support the regional initiative on resilience in the Sahel and Horn of Africa. Launched in Addis Ababa in 2015, the TCP is designed to catalyze efforts of the African Union, IGAD and the Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILLS) to achieve the commitment of improving households’ resilience to climate and weather related risks; enhancing investments for resilience-building initiatives; mainstreaming resilience and risk management in member countries policies, strategies and investment plans. This is in view of commitment to The Malabo Declaration (2014) on accelerated agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.  As part of the commitments, African Union Heads of State and Government committed to ending hunger by 2025 and additionally resolved to halve the current levels of post-harvest losses by the year 2025.  Implementation started in the first quarter of 2016.

Improving Cross-border animal health control

A key component of the collaboration between FAO, IGAD and other partners is to improve cross-border animal health control.  As animal health issues are regional in nature, technical officers on the ground initiated a collaboration between AU-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, IGAD, the East African Community, FAO and other partners, with funding from the European Union to particularly move animal health coordination up on the political agenda. A number of cross border and regional meetings on animal health have been held to date using the Kenya-Uganda Memorandum of Understanding (2013) as an example on how to coordinate animal health border areas.  A recent ministerial meeting held in Kampala on the contribution of livestock to the GDP of IGAD countries led to a commitment by the ministers to increase public funding towards the livestock sector. Through the partnership, FAO and IGAD will continue to build synergies on such initiatives.