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20-01-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning convened the 7th Steering Committee Meeting on the implementation of the Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) with the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti – HE Shatemo Fitamo Adebo – as Guest of Honour, and under the chairmanship the Executive Secretary of IGAD, HE Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, with the Head of the European Union Delegation to Djibouti, HE Amb Adam Kulach, in attendance at the high table.

The objective of the Steering Committee is to review the progress made in the implementation of the drought resilience Initiative throughout the IGAD region, examine the challenges met and the opportunities available, and to discuss proposals and recommendations on the way forward.

Members of the IDDRSI Platform Coordination Platform, IGAD Member States focal points for IDDRSI, Development Partners and stakeholders are partaking this meeting.

This 7th Steering Committee meeting is the first since the mid-term review of the first phase (2013-2017) of the implementation of the IGAD drought resilience Initiative which was discussed during the 6th Steering Committee meeting back in April 2016.

This is why the Executive Secretary of IGAD said in his opening remarks that this meeting was a very well informed one that needed to take stock of the review in order to propose the way forward. It is also to be noted that while progress have been made, the region is still in emergency mode when it comes to responding to drought effects.

“This meeting is coming at a time when many parts of our region are suffering the effects of drought, and we know that last week aid agencies appealed for 856 million US dollars to support 3.9 million people affected inside Somalia”, he said.

He also reminded the audience that “pastoralists are the major victims of drought disasters”. In order to bring sustainable assistance against the current drought situation and as an instance of innovative approach to end drought disasters, Amb Maalim pointed that providing hay bales worth 3.6 billion US dollars was necessary to the 8 million camel population in the IGAD region for a duration of 6 months.

He finally urged the meeting adopt the recommendations of the mid-term review for the “improvements in planning and implementation of IDDRSI”, most of them requiring action from IGAD organisation and IGAD member states.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Djibouti, HE Amb Kulach, expressed the willingness of the EU, and various development agencies from EU member states such as GIZ of Germany, to keep on working with IGAD in its efforts to relieve the region form the effects of drought disaster and build resilience to drought and climate change effects.

The Executive Secretary of IGAD then invited participants to validate the programme for the day and meeting proceeded.

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