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.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gabriel Negatu, AfDB Director General, Eastern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office said, “We are delighted that through STRERP, we will provide immediate action to increase food security, boost household incomes, promote regional trade in food products and kick start community recovery, ultimately contributing to inclusive growth and resilience in Somalia and South Sudan.”
Maryan Qasim, Somalia’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, who signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia, said; “The establishment of the Ministry of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management is a milestone for Somalia, particularly now when we are faced with an extreme humanitarian situation. Through this ministry, we are working to address structural issues so that we can prevent being in crisis mode every few years.”
South Sudan, the Minister of Finance and Planning, Stephen Dhieu Dau Ayik, said his government is proud and grateful for the grant which will be implemented immediately to help save lives threatened by the humanitarian crisis.
“We also look forward to continue to strengthen our partnership with the Bank as this will be very beneficial to our people and the economy at large,” said Ayik.