UN Agency inks $44 million deal to reduce flood risk and mitigate drought in Somalia

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A picture taken with a drone of people walking in the flooded streets of Baidoa town, the administrative capital of Southwest State in Somalia, 06 November 2023. (EPA)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Friday it has signed a 43.8-million-U.S.-dollar deal to implement a project that seeks to reduce flood risk and mitigate drought in Somalia.

FAO said the Restoring the Riverine Eco-Systems for Climate Adaptations (RESTORE) project seeks to rehabilitate a large irrigation scheme in two regions in Hirshabelle State targeting 1.5 million people.

The project funded by Britain, which will be implemented by FAO, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and World Vision International-Somalia in partnership with the Somali government, will also boost food security in the country.

"This will substantially reduce flood risk, mitigate drought, support local production, and boost food security for millions of populations vulnerable to recurring shocks and crises," said FAO Representative in Somalia Etienne Peterschmitt in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The project aims to reduce poverty, ensure household food security, reduce tensions over natural resources, and increase the resilience of communities at risk of the impacts of climate change.

RESTORE is part of the Jowhar Offstream Storage Program (JOSP), a 140-million-dollar program that will support the restoration of productive and protective infrastructure, promoting nature-based solutions and climate-resilient approaches fostering effective and accountable governance for sustainable natural resource management in the JOSP command area.

According to FAO, increasingly frequent climate-induced shocks such as flooding, and drought threaten lives and livelihoods in Somalia.

It said transformative solutions must be identified and implemented to address these needs.

"JOSP and RESTORE represent the first such initiatives in Somalia, seeking to sustainably address the underlying drivers of vulnerability promoting a shift towards sustainable production and self-sufficiency while supporting peace, stability, and social cohesion in areas impacted by conflict," FAO said.

Source: Xinhua 

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