World Bank allocates $340 million to combat climate change in Ethiopia

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A substantial boost in support for Ethiopians residing in climate-affected lowlands has been announced, with the International Development Association (IDA) granting 340 million USD. This initiative aims to fortify livelihoods and bolster resilience against climate-related challenges.

The World Bank, shedding light on the dire circumstances faced by Ethiopians nationwide, emphasized the profound repercussions of recurrent severe droughts and flash floods. Particularly vulnerable are pastoral and agro-pastoral communities, whose subsistence heavily relies on livestock, rendering them susceptible to significant losses in the face of environmental adversities.

Benefitting 3 million affected individuals, predominantly pastoralists and agro-pastoralists dwelling in drought-prone regions, this endeavor comes as a response to the pressing need for assistance amidst the escalating impacts of climate change.

The newly approved Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project Phase Two (LLRP II) builds upon the groundwork laid by its predecessor, the Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project (LLRPI), which showcased commendable progress in bolstering the resilience of pastoralist communities. LLRP II, tailored to combat the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change, is poised to implement strategies for mitigation and adaptation in a more comprehensive manner.

Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan, highlighted the pivotal role of LLRP II in fostering climate-resilient livelihoods, underscoring the integration of early warning systems, rangeland management initiatives, and sustainable livelihood promotion as central components of the project.

With a focus on technology adoption and innovation, LLRP II seeks to empower communities at various levels to tackle climate-related adversities head-on. Noteworthy features include the incorporation of an early warning system, community-led rangeland management practices, and the establishment of a web-based national monitoring system to bolster rangeland productivity.

The project aims to promote climate-smart agricultural practices and facilitate access to rural financial services, providing alternative livelihood options for those grappling with the impacts of climate change on traditional livestock-based economies.

Esayas Nigatu, Senior Livestock Specialist and World Bank Task Team Leader, lauded the project’s potential to address core constraints faced by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Ethiopian lowlands, drawing on practical insights gleaned from ongoing initiatives and recent studies.

The World Bank emphasized the collaborative nature of this endeavor, highlighting an 80 million USD co-financing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as a testament to a unified commitment towards poverty alleviation within Ethiopia’s most vulnerable communities.

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