IFAD to provide additional support to mitigate COVID-19 impact in Somalia

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IFAD to provide additional support to mitigate COVID-19 impact in Somalia

Mogadishu, 10 February 2022 - A US$ 1.07 million grant agreement between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia will finance the Resilience Livelihood Action to COVID-19 project (RLAC-19)—a move to strengthen the ability of poor rural people to cope with the effects of the COVID pandemic and threats to their livelihoods.

The grant is the second allocation to Somalia from IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), which aims to improve the resilience of rural livelihoods amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring timely access to inputs, information, markets and liquidity. Somalia is facing a triple crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic, a desert locust outbreak and a severe drought.

The first RPSF allocation to the RLAC-19 project was approved in October 2020 for US$626,064. The project was implemented in the districts of Qardho, Iskushuban, North Galkacyo in Puntland State and Hobyo, Adaado and South Galkacyo in Galmudug State, and reached thousands of Somalian agro-pastoralists, achieving 110% of its initial target. Beneficiaries included 50% women and 25% youth.

“The agriculture sector has been hit hard by years of conflict and economic crisis, compounded by COVID-19, with agro-pastoralist and small-scale farmers the most affected“, explained Dr. Said Hussein Iid, Minister of Agriculture & Irrigation, Federal Republic of Somalia.  “Somalia is currently experiencing a new surge of COVID-19 with a deteriorating drought situation and the IFAD interventions through the RLAC-19 project are designed to help mitigate the impact in an already vulnerable context.” 

On his part, Omar Ebrima Njie, IFAD’s Country Director for Somalia, explained that the second allocation will build on the success of the initial grant. “We aim to provide ongoing support to the original beneficiaries for the upcoming agricultural season and to expand the support to an additional 6,000 people in the same geographic areas,” he said.

The RPSF was launched in April 2020 as a rapid response to protect vulnerable rural communities from the impact of the pandemic. 85% of the Facility funds are dedicated to support 59 of the most at-risk countries with country-level financing. The remaining 15% is supporting particularly innovative or strategic regional initiatives.

Since the 1980s, IFAD and its partners have invested a total of US$140 million in nine programmes and projects promoting agricultural development in Somalia, benefiting 1.78 million direct beneficiaries.

Press release No.: IFAD/03/2022

IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$23.2 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 518 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.

A wide range of photographs of IFAD’s work in rural communities are available for download from its Image Bank.