IFAD provides US$39 million to Ethiopia to improve the lives of pastoralists and their families

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IFAD provides US$39 million to Ethiopia to improve the lives of pastoralists and their families

Rome, 26 November 2009 – A US$19.5 million loan and a US$19.5 million grant from IFAD to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia will support the delivery of basic social services to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country – pastoralists and their families.

After the success of its first phase, the Pastoral Community Development Project will extend its reach to three times as many households.

Operations will be extended to 57 districts of the Afar, Oromia, Somali and Southern regions, which account for about 45 per cent of Ethiopia's pastoral lowlands.

The loan and grant agreement was signed today in Rome by Mr. Abebe Kelemu, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Rome, and Kevin Cleaver, Assistant President of IFAD.

The project will improve health, sanitation, food, safe drinking water and basic education and also enhance access by the herders to financial services; in particular it will encourage the establishment of women-owned pastoral rural savings and credit cooperatives.

Pastoralists are vulnerable to increasingly frequent droughts, which wipe out their livestock and assets.

Pastoral areas are the most vulnerable to chronic food insecurity and need a long-term development.

Pastoralist is the main source of livelihood for 12-15 million Ethiopians. If appropriate policies are implemented not only can their living conditions improve but also their economic potential be unleashed
To date, IFAD has funded 13 projects and programmes in Ethiopia for a total investment of about US$ 235.8 million.

Press release No.: IFAD/59/09

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$11 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering some 350 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the UN's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 165 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).