March 19, 2021 (MOMBASA, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today convened the 7th meeting of the General Assembly of its Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) Platform in Mombasa, with the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASALs of Kenya, Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, the Executive Secretary of the regional bloc, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, and the Minister of Agriculture of Sudan, H.E Eltahir Ismail Mohamed Harbi, presiding.
The IDDRSI Platform General Assembly meeting was attended by officials from the ministries in charge of drought and related matters in IGAD Member States as well as senior representatives of development partners, some physically and others joined the meeting online.
The 7th meeting of the IDDRSI General Assembly was centred around the theme Consolidating the Path to Resilience and Sustainability, coming almost two years after launching the second five-year phase in the implementation of the IDDRSI Strategy.
In his opening remarks, the IGAD Executive Secretary described the regional bloc’s determination to ‘tackle the impact of disasters through preventative & pro-active measures’. ‘Our single greatest imperative at IGAD remains the urgent need to build the resilience of our communities to recurrent drought & similar shocks’, he explained.
‘IDDRSI is the flagship mechanism through which countries of the IGAD region address the challenges, including poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation, which are faced by vulnerable communities, particularly in cross-border areas, employing concerted and coordinated approaches’, Dr Workneh said.
The Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and ASALs of Kenya noted with appreciation that the IGAD Secretariat had ‘initiated a number of cross-border drought resilience enhancing projects’ to mitigate conflicts that may arise from movements of pastoralists in search of water and pasture. Hon. Eugene Wamalwa extended appreciation to the development partners for ‘their continued support’ before declaring the meeting open.
During the General Assembly, reports on the progress made in the implementation of IDDRSI, throughout the IGAD region, were presented by Member States; and there were statements from development partners on their respective contributions to the region’s drought resilience initiative. The meeting reviewed the progress, noted the challenges and discussed the plans and proposals for future interventions in the region’s efforts to consolidate its path to building resilience and attaining sustainability.
The General Assembly meeting closed with the adoption of the Communiqué herewith attached.
The IDDRSI Platform General Assembly meets once a year and brings together all stakeholders involved in the drought resilience initiative, including Member States, IGAD Secretariat, Development Partners, UN agencies, Civil Society and specialised research and training institutions. The platform provides the opportunity and mechanism through which the needs and support for the region’s priorities for intervention in the drought resilience initiative can be discussed by affected countries and interested development partners.
The partners of the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), comprising IGAD Member States, Development Partners, East African Community, UN agencies, Non-state actors (NSAs) and the IGAD Secretariat, who are committed to the objective of ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa, held the 7th meeting of the IDDRSI Platform General Assembly on 19th March 2021 at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort, Mombasa, Kenya, with an option for online participation, for those that were unable to travel to Mombasa.
The meeting was opened by Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary , Ministry of Devolution and ASALs in the Republic of Kenya; and was attended by Hon. Eltahir Ismail Mohamed Harbi, Minister of Agriculture the Republic of Sudan; Hon. Dr Seyoum Mesfine, State Minister of the Peace Ministry of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Mr. Ibrahim Elmi, representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries Resources and Livestock of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary of IGAD and Chairman of the IDDRSI Platform Steering Committee; and Members of the IDDRSI Platform Steering Committee.
Also in attendance online were representatives of the African Development Bank, World Bank, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, European Union, USAID, East African Community, UN Agencies and Members of the IGAD Civil Society Organization Forum.
The objective of the meeting was to review the progress made in the drought resilience initiative, assess the current situation in the region and consider the recommendations for the way forward as we seek to consolidate the path to resilience and sustainability.
Recalling that the Summit of the Heads of State and Government, held in Nairobi, Kenya on 9th September 2011, made the historic decision to embark on the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI); and charged the IGAD Secretariat with the responsibility to lead and coordinate the implementation of the decision to end drought emergencies.
Appreciating the efforts of Member States, IGAD Secretariat and the support of Development Partners for the progress achieved since the launching of IDDRSI in 2013, including the establishment and operationalization of the IDDRSI Platform; the development of the IDDRSI Strategy and its translation into country and regional programming frameworks, which have guided the interventions aimed at enhancing drought resilience; and the various efforts made by IGAD Member States and Development Partners that have contributed to the enhancement of drought resilience of the drought-prone communities in the IGAD region.
Noting that there is still much that needs to be done differently and innovatively, to guarantee the achievement of the goals of IDDRSI, particularly in view of the multiple shocks and disasters, which have become the new normal in the region, including the shifting dynamics of conflict, climate change phenomena and economic shocks, food and nutrition insecurity, floods and the raging COVID-19 pandemic, which have worsened critical vulnerabilities and severely undermined the livelihoods of communities in the region
Appreciating the efforts made by IGAD Member States, coordinated by the IGAD Secretariat, in investing in resilience enhancement; and gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the Development Partners in this endeavor
Now, we the Ministers, Government representatives, Development Partners and other stakeholders present, do hereby adopt the following communiqué:
- Call upon the IDDRSI Platform Members to focus on the principle of taking water to the people, including the development of large scale water supply and irrigation infrastructures, as essential components in the design and implementation of integrated community-based resilience-enhancing interventions for sustainable livelihoods and food security
- Urge the IGAD Secretariat to lead efforts to mobilize support to operationalize and sustain the IGAD Cross-border Development Facilitation Unit at Moroto; as well as establish similar units in other cross-border areas to bolster and consolidate its role and mandate in resilience building and development endeavors for cross-border areas
- Request the IGAD Secretariat to document resilience-enhancing investments in the region that are funded by Member States and Development Partners for sharing with the IDDRSI Platform.
- Urge the IGAD Secretariat and Member States to mobilize buffer resources to fill funding gaps in resilience-enhancing projects in the IGAD region
- Encourage the IGAD Secretariat to operationalize and mobilize resources for the IGAD Disaster Response Fund (IDRF) as endorsed by the decision of the IGAD Heads of States and Government during the 38th Extra-ordinary Summit on 21st December 2020; and coordinate with Member States to develop and implement disaster risk financing strategies to ensure timely and effective response and recovery
- Call upon the IGAD Secretariat to establish the IGAD Disaster Operations Centre that will house a situation room for a regional multi-hazard early warning system and coordinate disaster response for the IGAD region as per the decision of the IGAD Heads of State and Government.
- Further call upon the IGAD Secretariat, Member States and Development Partners to develop an IGAD Regional Strategic Food Reserve to improve management of food crises, alongside IGAD Member States governments.
- Urge the IGAD Secretariat to establish an interregional coordination platform for desert locusts and other transboundary pests and vectors of disease.
- Urge the IDDRSI Platform members to recognize and support the role of national institutions and apply their expertise in the planning and implementation of IDDRSI.
10.Urge the IDDRSI Platform members to support knowledge sharing and technology transfer to enable the scale up and adoption of technologies, best practices and approaches, such as water, feed and improved breeds, to increase and optimize safety nets for pastoral and agro pastoral production systems in the region
11.Call upon the IGAD Secretariat and Member States to deepen gender mainstreaming in the delivery of Country Programming Papers with technical reinforcement from the gender and resilience working group.
12.Call upon the IGAD Secretariat, in consultation with IGAD Member States and Development Partners, to organize the next IGAD Resilience Summit and Investment Conference during 2022, to mark the 10th anniversary of IDDRSI and mobilize resources and mobilize resources for resilience enhancement in the IGAD region.
And remain committed and mobilized for the implementation of IDDRSI, in our collective objective of ending drought emergencies through investing in sustainability in the IGAD region.
Done at Mombasa, Kenya, 19th March 2021.
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