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World Bank approves 75 mln USD to help pastoralists

26 October 2014, 10:15

Nairobi - The World Bank has approved an additional credit of 75 million U.S. dollars to improve the livelihoods and resilience of pastoralists in the Horn of Africa.

The WB said in a statement received in Nairobi on Saturday that the funds will also help to strengthen the organizational capacity of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), including the sustainable development of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa.

According to the WB, the latest financing for the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project will benefit Ethiopia which will join Kenya and Uganda in the ongoing project.

"The additional financing will directly help 132,000 Ethiopian households, which mainly rely on pastoral activities, including livestock activities," the WB said in the statement.

"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."

According to researchers from International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), pastoral systems are critical for the survival of livelihoods and offer the most efficient way of managing the region's large arid and semi-arid lands.

They say a strong African response to increasing demand for livestock foods will require long-term investment in sustainable intensification of African livestock systems, including year-round access to high-quality animal feeds, careful land-use planning and increased support for applied research.

Also read: Police blamed for harrasing pastoralists

World Bank Director for Regional Integration in the Africa Region Colin Bruce said major 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.

The WB said movement across borders is imperative to maintain the livelihoods of pastoralists, for efficient use and protection of rangelands.

Stephane Forman, World Bank Co-Task Team Leader for the project, said 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 Forman. 

  - Xinhua

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