The World Bank mobilizes additional funds to help Pastoralists in the Horn of Africa

October 21, 2014

WASHINGTON, October 21, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional International Development Association (IDA)* credit of US$75 million to improve the livelihoods and resilience of pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. It will also help to strengthen the organizational capacity of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization that works to promote regional cooperation, including the sustainable development of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa

This additional financing for the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project will benefit Ethiopia which will join Kenya and Uganda in the ongoing project. Ethiopia’s inclusion will allow the project to move forward towards its full regional potential

Significant challenges brought on by adverse climate, animal disease, limited access to water resources and grazing lands, and inefficient warning systems for droughts are forcing pastoralists throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to constantly uproot—undermining livelihoods for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities.” said Colin Bruce, World Bank Director for Regional Integration in the Africa Region. “Since these are transboundary problems, we need transboundary solutions.  It is imperative that this project is expanded to include Ethiopia to enhance opportunities for all three neighboring countries.

The additional financing will directly help 132,000 Ethiopian households, which mainly rely on pastoral activities, including livestock activities. This number will add to the 135,000 households (93,000 in Kenya, 42,000 in Uganda) included in the first phase, to make a total of 267,000 households in the three countries

A key focus of the project is to enhance the resilience and coping capabilities of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities living in drought areas and enable their governments and regional institutions to respond effectively to emergencies, including weather crisis and cross-border animal diseases.  

Movement across borders is imperative to maintain the livelihoods of pastoralists, for efficient use and protection of rangelands. Access to markets and mobility—including access to water and grazing lands along cross-border migration routes are the two most important determinants of the viability of pastoralism in Ethiopia

Worldwide, pastoralists constitute one of the poorest population sub-groups. Among African pastoralists, the incidence of extreme poverty ranges from 25% to 55%, and in the Horn of Africa it is 41%

Access to natural resources is critical to the livelihoods of pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Given the nature of the ecosystem, pastoralists need to move their livestock across wide areas and depend on intermittent access to water and grazing in areas where they do not have established settlements and this often happens across national borders,” said Stephane Forman and Teklu Tesfaye, World Bank Co-Task Team Leaders for the project. “The project strengthens regional access to water and grazing lands and their management.

The project is part of a larger push to improve pastoralism and irrigation in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It follows two landmark conferences held in Mauritania and Senegal last year focusing on improving pastoralism and irrigation in the Sahel. It will also contribute in implementing the broader Horn of Africa regional strategy being prepared by the World Bank

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa

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