Sweden invests in resilient rural communities in Somalia with an additional USD 2 million contribution to FAO
The Government of Sweden’s timely contribution to Somalia through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) of an additional USD 2 million committed to the Building Resilience in Middle Shabelle (BRiMS) Project has been welcomed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
The action will substantially increase the resilience of vulnerable peoples’ livelihoods to food crises by addressing some of the underlying vulnerabilities in Middle Shabelle within Somalia’s breadbasket. In light of recent, recurrent drought and flood emergencies, the main issue to be addressed by the project relates to water: water access, its sustainable management and its use for production.
I’m “We appreciate this renewed and timely commitment from Sweden that focuses on strengthening one of the essential building blocks of agricultural food systems in the region,” said FAO Representative to Somalia Etienne Peterschmitt.
“The ongoing severe drought in the region shows that – more than ever before – we must invest in resilient communities and, for the Middle Shabelle region, in particular, this means equitable access to and sustainable management of water,” he added.
Somalia is highly vulnerable to recurrent shocks, with colliding and cumulative effects. Droughts, flash and riverine flooding, cyclones, locusts, disease outbreaks, conflict, and subsequent large-scale displacement have affected the country with increasing frequency since the 1990s. In the Jowhar corridor, the periodic flooding of the Shabelle River basin causes the destruction of crops, villages, roads and large-scale human displacement in locations close to the river.
Most of the villages located along the river are exposed to recurrent flooding during rainy seasons, as witnessed in 2019 and 2020. To protect the families living in and around Jowhar towns ahead of the upcoming rains, the project proposes the rapid closure of river breakage points and the reinforcement of weak river embankments. In these hard-to-reach areas, it is also important to help farmers organise themselves into collective farmer groups.
By aggregating local input supply needs and production, farmer groups create economies of scale that strengthen their ability to access services and participate effectively in supply chains and markets. This is crucial in Middle Shabelle where insecurity and access constraints can deter trade – especially if at a small scale.
Source: FAO – Origin: View Original