Cote d’Ivoire: AfDB supports drought resilience programme in Eritrea

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (PANA) – Eritrea’s fourth Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme was boosted Friday with announcement of a loan and a grant amounting to US $7.14 million by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The programme is an expansion of the ongoing Eritrea Component of the Multinational Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme in the Horn of Africa Project II (DRSLP-II) approved by the Bank Group in November 2014.

“It is designed to enhance drought resilience and improve sustainable livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Eritrea, with a view to help achieve food and nutrition security, increase employment and reduce poverty,” said a statement issued by the AfDB.

“It will complement the Eritrea component of DRSLP-II, by providing additional activities that could not be accommodated due to resource limitations. It will support the efforts of the Government of the State of Eritrea started under DRSLP-II to improve the drought resilience of the pastoral and agro-pastoral communities of the target areas.”

Covering the same six areas of DRSLP-II, the project will provide additional activities including infrastructure to increase production and productivity of smallholder farmers and link them to markets.

The four components of the project are: natural resources management; value chain and support to livelihoods diversification; capacity building; and project management.

The AfDB pointed out that high unemployment, poverty and environmental challenges are among the main bottlenecks to inclusive growth in Eritrea in particular, and among member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

The negative impact of El Niño and recurrent droughts on people’s livelihoods have intensified food insecurity, and remains a key challenge to inclusiveness, especially in Eritrea, where 80% of the population derive their livelihoods from agriculture, which is dependent on underground water. Other challenges include governance issues and weak capacity to manage and build resilience in the rural communities.

The project will benefit about 120,000 people of whom some 65,000 will be women. About 1,500 youth employment for men and women will be created.

According to the Bank’s statement, the government of Eritrea is working to ensure that areas with low socio-economic indicators are adequately supported. Other public institutions such as the National Agricultural Institute and relevant directorates in the Ministry of Agriculture will also benefit from the project in terms of capacity building.

The total estimated project cost is US $8.13 million, with the loan and grant from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility covering 88% of the amount. The Government and beneficiaries will contribute the remaining 12% of the costs in kind and in cash.
-0- PANA AR 27Jan2017

27 january 2017 18:29:07

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