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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:


  1. 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


  1. 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


  1. 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.


  1. Urge the IGAD Secretariat and Member States to mobilize buffer resources to fill funding gaps in resilience-enhancing projects in the IGAD region


  1. 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


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Urge the IGAD Secretariat to establish an interregional coordination platform for desert locusts and other transboundary pests and vectors of disease.


  1. 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.

Take a look for yourself .

Final Communique 7th IDDRSI Platform General Assemby, Mombasa 19 March 2021 (1)

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