The Cabinet has approved the Public Finance Management (National Drought Emergency Fund) Regulations, 2018. The Regulations are meant to guide the operations of the National Drought Emergency Fund which is to be established for the purpose of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of drought risk management systems in the country as well as to provide a common basket of emergency funds for drought risk management.
The establishment of the NDEF reflects a wider Government policy shift towards drought risk management rather than crisis.
NDMA has, since 2014, been piloting the use of a dedicated Fund in drought risk management through the European Union funded Drought Contingency Fund (DCF). The DCF business process was successfully employed during the 2016-2017 drought thereby mitigating losses both of lives and livelihoods.
This shift in Government policy is informed by evidence which suggests that action taken early enough can protect lives and livelihoods and avoid the high cost of emergency response. However, early action needs money, which at present can generally only be found by re-allocating funds already earmarked for other activities; few government ministries or agencies have contingencies in their budgets. This process of budgetary re-allocation is not only time-consuming but also counter-productive, because it takes resources away from the long-term development that should enhance resilience to drought. The NDEF is therefore an innovative way of ensuring that finance for early drought response is always available when needed.