Ethiopia

IFAD to support pastoralists in Ethiopia

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Rome, 10 October 2003 - Pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid Ethiopian lowlands will benefit from a USD 59.9 million project that will improve their livelihoods, build their capacity to manage their own development, and strengthen the institutional capacity of the decentralized local governments.
With the strong leadership of the Ministry of Ethiopian Federal Affairs, the initial five-year phase of the Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDC) will also support a participatory disaster management programme that will reduce vulnerability of pastoral communities to drought and other natural disasters. These efforts will be underpinned by policy reform and community action planning to improve health, education and veterinary services, and promote participatory research into dry land agriculture and natural resource management.

The project will be partly financed by a loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) amounting to USD 20 million. The loan agreement was signed today at IFAD headquarters by the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Italy, H.E. Dr Mengistu Hulluka, and the IFAD Vice President, Mr Cyril Enweze.

About 450 000 rural households living in 30 woredas (districts) of Afar, Somali, Southern and Oromiya regions are expected to benefit from the project's activities, including women-headed households and refugees. The adverse impact of frequently severe droughts has devastated livestock and caused famine, a situation worsened by inadequate access to basic social services, such as health care, education, and sanitation facilities.

The project is co-financed by the World Bank.

IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Since 1978, IFAD has financed more than 625 projects in 115 countries and territories for a total commitment of approximately USD 7.7 billion in loans and grants. Through these projects, about 250 million rural people have been supported in their efforts to overcome poverty.