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AfDB to deploy $20b to agric till 2017

Sunday June 18, 2017

An elderly woman displaced by the drought in Somalia walking between makeshift tents that are now home to the desperate at a camp in Baidoa. Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

The African Development Bank plans to deploy $1.1 billion with approval of its board to address drought-related crisis and ensure that “drought does not lead to famine,” says the bank’s president Akinwumi Adesina.

He raised concern about up 20 million people facing food insecurity and malnutrition across drought-affected areas.

“The Bank has committed $24 billion towards agriculture in the next 10 years, with a sharp focus on food self-sufficiency and agricultural industrialization,” AfDB President  Akinwumi Adesina said recently.

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“The recent drought and famine facing some countries (South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda) deserve swift action, as 20 million face food insecurity and severe malnutrition.”

Ahead of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the bank has announced it will work with partners to accelerate the implementation of the Drought Resilience Sustainable Livelihood Support Programme (DRSLP) in the Horn of Africa.

The programme, launched in 2013, aims at addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability in drought-prone areas, with particular emphasis on pastoralists and agro-pastoralists to promote disaster risk reduction, ecosystem rehabilitation and sustainable livelihood base transformational and developmental practices.

DRSLP was to ensure that the necessary infrastructure to reduce and minimize the recurrent drought in the region are in place.

But implementation of the DRSLP has faced initial start-up delays.

The programme comes under a mid-term review to revisit its components and put in “urgent and concrete measures” to speed up its implementation, particularly in Somalia and Ethiopia, the bank said in a statement.

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