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Drought is one of the biggest causes of disaster in Africa resulting into loss of lives, abstract poverty and massive socio-economic effects. The IGAD secretariat hosted key partners and member state representatives to deliberate on the way forward in regards to building drought resilience in the IGAD region on 2nd July at the office headquarters. Present at the meeting were representatives from USAID, FAO, WFP, UN, WORLD BANK, ITALY, DENMARK, JFF, EU, amongst others. Each of IGAD member states also attended the very important meeting.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of IGAD Engineer Mahboub emphasized the need for the partners to converge their resources in the drought resilience initiative. He reflected on the last 12 steering committee meetings that had been taken place stating that immense progress had been made so far in the drought resilience initiative. In his opening remarks, he cited that IGAD region was in dire need of support from the partners to ensure that the initiative gets proper funding and professional personnel could be employed to specifically work on the same. In addition, he said that drought was a concern of the international community and more especially in the African region which has always been worst hit since time immemorial. The country and regional programming framework on drought is expected to bring about synergy to ensure maximum impact in the drought resilience initiative.

A presentation from the Global Alliance on the last Geneva meeting showed the link between climate change and drought resilience and how the lessons learnt should be used to ensure information on emerging regional approach is spread and to trigger engagement when required. Crucial steps should be taken to ensure a regional approach and regional leadership to the drought issue, by identifying a body that can have the mandate to coordinate and mobilize international support.

The meeting is expected to come up with recommendations on how to actualize the drought resilience plan in the horn of Africa region. The responsibility of ensuring this initiative lies with each and every partner and member states, its importance cannot therefore be over emphasized.

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