Somalia’s war on desert locusts which have devasted thousands of acres of land has got a boost with $40 million grant from the World Bank.
The global lender announced Tuesday it had approved the International Development Assistance (IDA) grant for Somalia as part of the Emergency Locust Response Program.
Noting the locusts had gravely impacted the livelihoods of nearly 2.6 million living in forty-three districts of Somalia, the World Bank said the funds will be instrumental in supporting poor and vulnerable households affected the locusts.
“The Shock Responsive Safety Net for Locust Response (SNLRP) will focus on addressing the immediate impact of the locust infestation on poor and vulnerable households by meeting their short-term food security and consumption needs and protecting their livelihoods and human capital assets through emergency cash transfer,” the Bank said in a statement.
World Bank Country Director for Somalia, Felipe Jaramillo said the locust invasion had impacted on an already fragile situation in Somalia noting the SNLRP project builds on the new and Government-led “Baxnaano” (meaning uplifting in Somali) national cash transfer program.
“The locust invasion risks are aggravating the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia and leading to reduced access to food, loss of income, resource-based conflict and limited migration options,” said Jaramillo.
He noted the the Bank was supporting the government to put in place a social protection system under the Baxnaano program that can respond quickly to protect subsistence farmers and pastoralists, from falling into deeper levels of food insecurity, as well as preventing the sale/loss of their productive assets.
The World Bank Group approved on May 20, 2020 a $500 million multi-phase program of emergency financing, complemented by policy advice and technical assistance, to support countries in Africa and the Middle East affected by the locust outbreak.