Addis Ababa June 3/2022/ENA/ The Horn of Africa needs more structural approach and systematic solutions to mitigate the recurrent severe impacts of drought in the region, French Development Agency (AFD) Africa Director Christian Yoka said.

Communities in the Horn of Africa are experiencing one of the most severe droughts in memory and food prices are rising in many drought-affected areas due to a combination of macro-economic challenges, below-average harvests and rising prices on international markets.

In the past ten years alone, the Horn of Africa has endured three severe droughts (2010-2011, 2016-2017, and 2020-2021).  

The development director told ENA that despite all the short-term and emergency responses towards the populations that are completely affecting the region, it needs to have a more structural approach to mitigate the impact of the recurrent drought.  

“We have to distinguish two kind of response. Short-term and emergency answer towards the populations that are completely affecting as well as the livelihood.”   

In that regard, Yoka said “I stress that support be brought from France via the World Food Program to address food security issues.”   

Secondly, “We need to have a more structural approach on that, and to work on more structural solutions, more systematic solutions. Revise agricultural practices through the restoration of some ecosystem; and those are what we really need to work on.”  

Noting that the Horn of Africa is a dynamic region, he stressed that this dynamism can be boosted with more integration and cooperation initiatives.

With that in mind, development partners and governments within the region launched the Horn of Africa Initiative in 2019, and the World Bank, EU as well as the African Development Bank are among the partners.

According to the director, “France has decided to support that initiative. AFD is involving into that initiative, especially by working with the EU delegation on the Addis Ababa-Djibouti corridor where we are bringing 32 million Euros financing.”

Five countries of the Horn of Africa — Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea — came together to launch the Horn of Africa Initiative and issued a communiqué on 18 October 2019 highlighting their partnership and the importance of regional cooperation and concerted action to address cross-cutting development.

The countries agreed on priority projects and programs that will constitute the initiative, which is being developed by the countries with support from the African Development Bank, the European Union, and the World Bank.

The nations identified four priority areas of focus, namely improving regional infrastructure connectivity, promoting trade and economic integration, building resilience, and strengthening human capital development.

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