World Bank Group

03/29/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/29/2024 11:04

World Bank Scales Up Efforts to Boost the Resilience of 3 Million Ethiopians Living in Drought Prone Lowlands

ADDIS ABABA, March 29, 2024 - Ethiopians living in climate-affected lowlands of the country will receive new support thanks to a $340 million credit from the International Development Association* (IDA) to enhance their livelihoods and climate resilience. A total of 3 million people, many of which are pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in drought-prone areas, are set to benefit.

Ethiopians nationwide are struggling with the stark realities of climate change, brought on by frequent and severe droughts, as well as devastating flash floods. The livelihoods of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists have been particularly hard hit. In the past three years, the lowlands have suffered from consecutive severe droughts, resulting in significant livestock losses, profoundly affecting the lives of millions who depend on these animals for their survival. These challenges are compounded by persistent conflicts and environmental degradation, further disadvantaging these historically marginalized communities.

Building on the achievements of the first Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project (LLRPI), which made notable progress in enhancing the livelihood resilience of pastoral communities, the Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project Phase Two (LLRP II) approved today, has been designed with more focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation in order to mitigate, and tackle these challenges more systematically and comprehensively.

"LLRPII is part of our efforts to foster climate-resilient livelihoods and ecosystems by maximizing the potential of the lowlands to contribute to national efforts on growth and poverty reduction. The introduction of an early warning and response system, integrated rangeland management, and the promotion of climate-resilient and sustainable livelihoods, along with policy engagement, are central to this project," said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.

LLRP II will promote technologies, innovations, and practices that enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation at the household, community, production system, and ecosystem levels. The project will integrate an early warning and early action system with nature-based and community-led rangeland management approaches and practices. Additionally, the establishment and rollout of web-based national rangelands monitoring systems will enhance the productivity of rangelands, contributing to the climate resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral ecosystems amid increasing climate pressures.

The project also supports the adoption of climate-smart agricultural and livestock production technologies, innovations, and practices to foster green and climate-resilient food systems among the communities. Furthermore, it will facilitate access to rural financial services for diversified and alternative livelihood options for those seeking to supplement or transition from their livestock-based livelihoods due to the impacts of climate change.

"The project will play a crucial role in improving the livelihoods and climate resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Ethiopian Lowlands by addressing their core constraints," said Esayas Nigatu, Senior Livestock Specialist and World Bank Task Team Leader. "Its design draws on practical insights from the ongoing first phase and recent studies conducted by the World Bank and its development partners."

The financing provided by the World Bank will be complemented by an $80 million co-financing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), exemplifying a partnership geared towards impactful change. This joint effort highlights a steadfast commitment to reducing poverty within Ethiopia's most vulnerable communities.

* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks