AfDB signs US$ 78 million Grant with Somalia & South Sudan to Fight Hunger

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed tripartite grant agreements of US$ 34.8 million and US$ 43.8 million with the Republic of Somalia and the Republic of South Sudan respectively and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) under the Bank’s ‘Say No To Famine – Short Term Regional Emergency Response Project – STRERP’.

IGAD will oversee the implementation of the project through an agency to be recruited in each of the countries. The agencies will work with the governments to put in place structures, systems and facilities that will enable them take on increasing responsibility for disaster management and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The STRERP was approved by the Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank on 21 July 2017 and falls within the context of the Bank’s “Say No To Famine” framework. Under this framework, the Bank plans to invest about US$ 1.1 billion as a coordinated response to its Regional Members Countries that have been severely affected by prolonged drought periods and unstable food production.

Targeting 804,000 individuals in Somalia and 300,000 individuals in South Sudan, STRERP’s direct food, water, fodder and medical assistance will provide relief to meet the immediate hunger and malnutrition needs faced by communities affected by drought, conflicts and famine. It will also provide food for more able-bodied members of beneficiary households to enable them engage in restoration and creation of community assets that will assist the targeted communities in enhancing livelihoods and build resilience against future shocks.

The Grants are geared towards providing emergency food assistance and medical aid to the most vulnerable populations in Somalia and South Sudan. In addition, the project includes activities to put in place the preliminary building blocks to strengthen links between the production, distribution and consumption hubs of the food systems in the affected regions. This will help facilitate an increased system-wide efficiency and longer-term resilience, which is generally aligned with the Bank’s High-5 priorities, and particularly the Feed Africa Strategy.  The project is also aligned with the Bank’s Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa (2014-2019) through its focus on strengthening relevant government institutions’ capacity to effectively plan, coordinate and implement disaster risk management and humanitarian responses.

“It is great to see AfDB provide support to deal with this humanitarian emergency currently being experienced in the two countries; Somalia and South Sudan. IGAD is thrilled to be associated with this project and we look forward to its implementation,” said IGAD Executive Secretary, Mahboub Maalim.

In addition to meeting the daily nutritional needs of vulnerable members of the population, STRERP will facilitate resilience-oriented activities. This will be accomplished through meeting communities’ nutritional needs and creating opportunities for affected communities to re-engage in agricultural production. Integral to this will be stimulating the local private sector and reducing drought and hardship-induced cross-border migration in search of scarce food, water and pasture.