The baseline reference document for the execution of the drought resilience strategy is the Country Programming Paper (CPP), validated in August 2012. The goal of the CPP was to present coherent actions that strengthen the sustainable development policy by introducing measures that reduce the vulnerability of populations to natural hazards, and improve food security. The Priority intervention areas (PIAs) indicated in the CPP are (i) management of natural resources, (ii) Access to market and small trade, (iii) support to livelihoods and basic services, (iv) Disaster Risk Management for pastoralists, (v) Knowledge management and research, (vi) conflict resolution and support of peace building process. Priority is given to activities in the pastoral corridors (grazing and trade routes).  All current and planned projects and programmes are in line with the PIAs of IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) as indicated in the CPP. Following the Nairobi declaration on 9 September 2011, whereby IGAD Heads of State and Governments and development partners agreed that a new twin-track approach to drought risk management should be implemented, support of the livelihoods of Djibouti’s pastoral and agro-pastoral communities is moving towards emphasis on long-term programmes. 



 Djibouti is situated in the Horn of Africa and has a total surface area of about 123,000 km2 and a population of approximately 900,000, with around 80% of the total population living in urban areas. All of Djibouti territory is Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). The country receives cumulative rainfall of approximately 150mm annually. Djibouti ASALs limit production systems and livelihoods due to ecological constraints such as erratic rainfall pattern; heavy showers that are lost as run-off; high rates of evapo-transpiration rates; highly competitive weeds; and low organic matter contents in soils. 

Djibouti has a dual economy of a modern sector, based on income, co-existing with a large informal sector. Massive influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) mainly from the Gulf countries, are destined for capital-intensive sectors and therefore do little job creation. These FDIs are part of the long-term strategy of the authorities to make Djibouti a regional platform of commercial, logistical and financial services. 

According to a household survey carried by the statistics department in 2013, the incidence of extreme poverty in Djibouti was 21.1%, with Djibouti city having an incidence of 13.7% while the rest of the country had an incidence of 40.9%. Over the past decade, economic damages resulting from droughts have amounted to millions of Djibouti francs caused by climate changes. The droughts in 1983–85, 1991–92, 1998–99, 2010-2011 and recently in 2016 have resulted in between 37% and 62% of the livestock population perishing, mostly from starvation and lack of water. The fragile resource base in Djibouti rural areas is very sensitive to changes in climatic conditions, making pastoralists and agro-pastoralists highly vulnerable to climate change.



Following the adoption by the Djibouti Government in 2006 of the Hyogo Framework for Action, the Government of Djibouti promulgated a National Policy Act and an institutional framework for Disaster Risk Management (DRM). The institutional framework set up by the DRM's Institutional Framework Decree is composed of three committees (Inter-ministerial Committee, Inter-sectoral Technical Committee, and Regional Disaster Management Committee) and the Secretariat of DRM as a permanent forum for management, coordination and enforcement and support programmes and actions under the authority of the Minister of the Interior.

The drought resilience programme is fully aligned with the existing national policies and initiatives, such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (INDS) and the Djibouti Vision 2035. Both documents engulf all CPP PIAs and have a goal to reduce poverty and enhance the resilience of the vulnerable groups.
The sector strategy papers, including the National Programme of Action for the Conservation of Biological Diversity, the Action Programme to Combat Desertification and the National Environmental Action Plan (NAPA) respond to the PIA 1 (natural resource management) and PIA 3 (support to livelihoods and basic services).
In addition to the above, the main existing instruments on related sectors on drought resilience include: National Strategy for Risk and Disaster Management; National Programme on Food Security; National Food Security and Investment Programme (PNISA); Water Master Plan; National Microfinance Strategy; National Environmental Action Plan (NAPA); National Strategy for Women; National strategy on decentralisation; Vision Djibouti 2035; Strategy of Accelerated Growth and Promotion of Employment (SCAPE) and National Fisheries Strategy

 National IDDRSI Coordination Mechanism

A Strategic Coordination Committee, under the co-presidency of the Ministry of Economy and Finance responsible for Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was established by presidential decree No. 2015 -311 / PR / MEFI dated 03 November 2015. It includes all line ministries and technical and financial partners concerned, as well as the senior officials of the cooperation. The Strategic Coordination Committee is the platform designated to implement the recommendations of the annual forum for development assistance coordination. It works through sectoral groups and the Technical Secretariat has been placed under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation. The Secretariat is responsible for facilitating the proper functioning of the committee. 

There is a subgroup of Resilience, Climate Change and Food Security, chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Marine Resources. Members are all line government institutions and development partners (see details in the organigram below).
The main mandate of the subgroup is exchange of information related to resilience, climate change and food security and coordinate all activities related to this theme.  It has a mandate as well to prepare investment plans and mobilise resources accordingly. It held its first meeting on 30 April 2017.

The Government of Djibouti, under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Livestock, Fisheries in charge of marine resources (IDDRSI focal point) favours a solid participatory approach (from bottom up) and has created a solid basis for implementation of the IDDRSI drought resilience strategy. In each ongoing or planned project and programme there is a steering committee of which the local communities are represented.








Investments in Resilience Building since 2011

Investments allocated to resilience comes from government funding and development partners. There are no private sector contributions recorded to date.  

The Republic of Djibouti and the development partners have agreed to develop a partnership for the exchange of experience and pooling of their resources, whenever possible, for the benefit of all vulnerable populations. Below are examples of current programmes:
Drought Resilience and Sustainability of Livelihoods Programme in the Horn of Africa (DRLSP 1):The project is financed by the African Development Bank for a total contribution of 17 million dollars. The main objective of the project is improving the drought resilience and adaptation to climate change as well as development of sustainable livelihoods for pastoralists and agro-pastoralist in Djibouti, particularly in Ali-sabieh and Tadjourah districts. 
Support of Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) Programme:The SHARE Programme is financed by the European Union for a total contribution of 6 million Euros. The overall objective of the project is to secure pastoral systems by strengthening the resilience of pastoral populations in Djibouti, and the specific objectives are (a) to contribute to food security and poverty alleviation at regional and community levels in Djibouti, and (b) improve the rural socio-economic situation in a sustainable development strategy.
PRAREV project: The project is financed by International Fund for Agricultural Development for a total of 13,34 million dollars. The main objective of the project is to improve the livelihoods of the fishery communities in the coastal areas of Djibouti. 
Dryland project: The project is financed by the Islamic Development Bank for a total of 10 million dollars. The project's development objective is to improve income, welfare, sustainable resource management and reduce the vulnerability of pastoral communities. The project is implemented in tow villages, Daasbiyo in Ali-sabieh district and Khorangar in Obock district. 
  • Success 1: Under PIA 1: mobilisation of surface and underground water through: Construction of the Sadai Dam, construction of gabions, construction of 100m3 underground tanks: Construction / Rehabilitation of water reservoirs, rehabilitation of wells, drilling of deep wells.
  • Success 2: Under PIA 2: The construction of the first national feeder road, The Ali-Sabieh & Assamo rural, is underway. Rehabilitation work started on 20 August 2015.
  • Success 3: Under PIA 3:  Capacity building for five (5) fisheries associations; Construction of five (5) fishing premises in Dalai, Kalaf, two in Khor-Angar and rehabilitation in Sagalou; repair od the Obock Ice Factory; Rehabilitation of the Obock Fishery












 Responding differently to drought 

Since inception of IDDRSI, initiatives are driven by communities themselves to create a sense of ownership. This often means changing mind sets and putting in place external support to ‘kick start’ activities. At the same time, communities are armed with the knowledge they need to implement new ideas. This idea was implemented by all stakeholders working in different sectors of drought resilience.

The Regional Committee for DRM (CRGRC) is responsible for the overall coordination of the Regional Strategy for DRM. There are permanent units in each district, which are principal regulators for the coordination of programmes and activities related to preparedness, prevention, response and reconstruction and whose primary function is to support the regional committees. They also the relay information between the Executive Secretariat and actors involved at regional level in the framework of DRM.   




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At the national level, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Livestock, in charge of Marine resources, is the focal point for the IDDRSI activities and is responsible for the implementation of the program on behalf of the Government of Djibouti through a focal point structure which is the general supervisor and which is  also responsible for facilitating the IGAD regional platform and setting up an inter-ministerial  steering committee for coordination between the public and private institutions involved In the implementation of the different components of the program.

The national platform, as a mechanism to coordinate and harmonize the implementation of actions financed by development partners at national level, has as its main objective the improvement of the sustainability of resilience to shocks for vulnerable populations, particularly those with pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods, in order to put an end to drought emergencies in Djibouti. To this end, it is responsible for: 

  • Coordinating the identification, prioritization and formulation of interventions aimed at strengthening drought resilience.
  • Mobilize Resources (human, material  and financial) to better target identified priority interventions. And
  • Collect, analyze and distribute / publish information on the implementation of interventions at the national.

The members of the national platform for drought resilience include government line ministries, development partners, NGO’s and civil society.

The IDDRSI focal point institutions (Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Livestock in charge of Marine resources) is currently preparing the core functioning modalities of the national IDDRSI platform.


Country Background
The Republic of Djibouti is situated in the Horn of Africa bordering Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen. Its location on the eastern coast of Africa, the southern outlet of the Red Sea and the western Gulf of Aden, that is, between the Suez Canal and the Far East, is the origin of its strategic importance.

The Republic of Djibouti has 5 administrative regions (Ali-sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Tadjourah and Obock) and a population of 818,159 inhabitants according to the preliminary results of the 2009 census. The urban population is estimated at 577,933 inhabitants (approximately 71% of the population) and the rural population at 240 226 inhabitants (About 29% of the population). The city of Djibouti alone is home to 475 322 inhabitants (about 58% of the total population of the country).

Despite the small size of the country and the small rural population, there is a wide diversity of rural patterns of livelihoods. This is related to two factors: the varied geography of the country and the range of economic relations between urban and rural areas.

Geographically, Djibouti is home to the second lowest point of the earth (Assal Lake, 156 m or 512 feet below sea level) and several mountains over 1500 m (5000 ft). The highest mountain in the country is Moussa Ali (2010 m or 6,600 feet) spans the border between Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea.



Facts about ASAL Area

Djibouti is arid and semi-arid climates. The ecological constraints of Djibouti ASALs set limits to rural production systems and livelihoods. These constraints include

  • A rainfall pattern that is inherently erratic;
  • Rains which often fall as heavy showers and are lost as run-off;
  • Extreme high levels of potential evapo-transpiration rates which quickly reduces available water and moisture;
  • Highly competitive weeds growing more vigorously than cultivated crops and likewise competing for moisture and
  • Low organic matter contents in soils except for short periods after harvesting or after manure applications.

Djibouti is characterized by recurrent drought, famine, and environmental degradation and is amongst the world’s most food-insecure and ecological vulnerable regions with 20% of inhabitants being pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. 

The country has experienced an unprecedented drought since 2007, seriously affecting more than 50% of the rural.

Extending well beyond the borders of Djibouti, this drought has also encouraged the resurgence of refugees entering the country since May 2011. 

The drought has had multiple and cumulative effects resulting in (i) a sharp drop in groundwater and drying up of traditional wells for the supply of drinking water to the rural population and livestock; (Ii) the degradation or total disappearance of the vegetation cover in many areas of range, thus decimating the herd; (Iii) and the depletion of wells in small agricultural areas.

A combination of population pressure, desertification and above all drought is forcing Djibouti pastoralists out of their traditional grazing lands to live in improvised settlements near the capital city. 

Rural conditions in the small Horn of Africa nation at the mouth of the Red Sea are approaching the point where the pastoralist way of life itself – in which people are almost entirely dependent on their animals – might soon no longer be viable. 

 “Distress sales” of privately-owned cattle, sheep and goats are becoming more and more common as people move toward Djibouti city in the hope of finding casual work or humanitarian aid. 

Facts about pastoralism 

Djibouti “Pastoralism” combines the way of living and the distinct production system. Both elements are mutually dependent and the response to the marked ecological conditions and rainfall variability, have evolved over generations and used the main strategy of mobility to access limited water and grazing resources in large ecosystems across borders.

The majority of livestock is kept in pastoral and agro-pastoral production systems, which are driven by the availability of pasture and water. The fragile resource base in Djibouti rural areas is very sensitive to changes in climatic conditions, which makes pastoralists and agro-pastoralists highly vulnerable to climate change. The droughts cause highly level of animal mortality, mostly from starvation and lack of water. 

A combination of population pressure, desertification and above all drought is forcing Djibouti pastoralists out of their traditional grazing lands to live in improvised settlements near the capital city. 

Rural conditions in Djibouti are approaching the point where the pastoralist way of life itself – in which people are almost entirely dependent on their animals – might soon no longer be viable. 

“Distress sales” of privately-owned cattle, sheep and goats are becoming more and more common as people move toward Djibouti city in the hope of finding casual work or humanitarian aid. 

Facts about disasters for specific country 
  • Djibouti is exposed to numerous natural hazards:
    • Acute droughts occurring approximately every 4 years since 1996;
    • Large floods returning on average every 10 years;
    • Frequent earthquakes reaching magnitudes of 4 to 5 on the Richter scale;
    • Volcanism in the Afar depression region; And (v) fires related to prolonged dry periods.
  • The country has experienced an unprecedented drought since 2007, according to the Djibouti government, seriously affecting more than 50% of the rural population.
  • The drought has had multiple and cumulative effects resulting in (i) a sharp drop in groundwater and drying up of traditional wells for the supply of drinking water to the rural population and livestock; (Ii) the total degradation or disappearance of the vegetation cover in many rangelands, thereby decimating livestock; (Iii) and the depletion of wells in small agricultural areas.
  • In addition, drought has had a major impact on household incomes and living conditions (especially in rural areas), food security, and the prevalence of malnutrition and the health of populations, especially the most vulnerable.
  • The occasional cyclonic disturbance from the Indian Ocean resulting heavy rains and flash floods, cause property damage in both rural and urban areas, often resulting high displacement of the affected population.
  • Djibouti had limited volcanic activity experiences, Ardoukoba (elev. 298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active.
Name of IDDRSI Focal Point :  Ismail Elmi Habaneh
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Name of IDDRSI Coordinator : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Related links 

Contact IDDRSI National Coordinator Djibouti



Mr. Racid Hersi

Djibouti IDDRSI National Coordinator

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National DRIs Platform
  •  Under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource there is a platform, which is sectoral working group b/n the government and the DPs: Known as RED&FS –SWG.
  • The REFDFS-SWG is headed by the EX-COM which is chaired by the respective minister and co-chaired by selected two DPs.
  • Under the REDFS-SWG there are technical committees (TCs about 35- 40 members) chaired by the respective state Minister of Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries
  • Under the TC there are various Task forces (20 -25 members) among which the Pastoral task force is the one responsible to coordinate the drought resilience initiatives in the pastoral areas of the country. The TF is chaired by the Director of pastoral affairs development Directorate.
  • The other platform the coordination and oversighting is the steering committees which are established at all levels from national-regional to district levels)
  • Under the Ministry of livestock and fisheries there are two DRIs PCUs, which are responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of DR projects in the country. For the purpose of convenience, the ministry has established two DR PCUs: one for the AfDB supported project (DRSLP I and II including the KfW supported project) and second for the WB supported project (RPLRP) acooperation supported project.  Likewise, there are DRIs for DRSLP I II and the RPLRP PCUs at regional and wereda levels including Mobile support team at zonal level


Under the ministry of livestock and fisheries at all levels the project coordination and implementation scheme is indicated herein


Background about Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the most populous country in the Horn of Africa, with a population close to 84 million and total land area of about 113million ha, and 51.3 million ha (45%) is arable. At present only about 11% (12million hectares) is being cultivated with annual crops. The majority (84%) of the Ethiopian population lives in the rural areas, and agriculture is the main source of livelihood. The country’s economy is highly dependent upon rain-fed, low input low output subsistence agriculture. About 55% of all smallholders, nevertheless, operate on one hectare or less.

Agriculture contributes about 41% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Smallholder agriculture accounts for approximately 95% of agricultural GDP and 85% of employment. The Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) is dominated by cereals (70%) with livestock accounting for about 28% despite the enormity of the livestock resources. Recent study by FAO/IGAD LPI showed that livestock contribution to the agricultural GDP is close to 45%. Livestock numbers in the country are estimated at 47 million for cattle, 26 million sheep, 22 million goats, 7 million equines and several million camels. 80% of the cattle, 75% of the sheep, 25% of the goats are found in the highlands. Equines are found more in the highlands, whereas all the camels are found in the drylands.

Ethiopia has a huge potential for irrigation estimated at 3.7 million hectares with 2.9 million hectares being suitable for medium and large scale irrigation. Currently only 3-5% of the potential is believed to be realized largely by small scale irrigation. The natural resources which include soil and water are either being rapidly degraded or have not been put to adequate use. It is reported that 50% of the land resources is degraded (UNDAF 2011). Soil nutrient depletion is a principal cause for the low agricultural productivity and production and hence food insecurity. It is estimated that the country losses about 1.5-2 billion tons of top soil every year to water and wind erosion. The poor farming practices in the highlands, deforestation, and poor livestock management and the resultant overgrazing are the prime factors for degradation.

The country’s forest cover has now (2009/10) reached 8.8 million ha in 2009/10. The Federal Government of Ethiopia is addressing the issue of natural resource management through the Sustainable Land Management initiative, which hinges on arresting and reversing the long term deterioration in soil fertility, and soil erosion through the watershed rehabilitation. It specifically aims to restore, sustain and enhance productivity of land and water resources while maintaining bio-diversity.

Production and Productivity:

Cereal production and productivity have increased over the years. The increase is a result of primarily due to increase in the area under cultivation, and the increased use of inputs- mainly fertilizers and improved seeds. Total area under major food crops in 2009/10 was estimated to be about 11.25 million hectares with a total production of 19.1 million tons. This translates into a per capita grain production of 2.16 quintals which supplies the daily calorie requirement of 2100 kilo calories per adult per day. Overall there is a significant increase in the production of improved seeds; however, use of improved inputs, particularly improved seeds, is still very low. The combined trend of increased productivity and the current low use of inputs demonstrates the huge potential for increasing production of food grain crops, with the current effort sustained. Despite the huge numbers livestock productivity, there is still much to be desired. The average daily milk yield of a local cow is estimated to be only 1.5 litres with average annual production of about 213 litres. A camel is estimated to milk a daily average of 4.4 litres (CAADP-Ethiopia Study 2009). Per capita consumption of milk is estimated at 23(CAADP Ethiopia Study, 2009) litres per year. Meat production is no different as production per cattle per year is estimated to be only 8.5kg; and about 3 kg per sheep or goat per year. The per capita consumption of all meat is estimated at7.6 kg.  

Poverty, Hunger, and Malnutrition:

Ethiopia’s annual per capita income is USD 170 (PIF 2010-2020). 65% of the population is considered food secure; 21% mildly food insecure; 13% moderately food insecure and 1% being considered severely food insecure (UNDAF 2012-2015). One third (30%) of Ethiopia’s population live below the national poverty line of USD 1.25 per capita per day, with most rural households earning less than USD 0.50 per capita per day. Overall poverty has declined to 29.2% in 2009/10 from the high of   50% in 2000 with marked differences between urban and rural areas.

The food poverty head count index has dropped from 38% in 2004/5 to 28.2% in 2009/10. Poverty and food insecurity are disproportionately biased against female headed households. According to the UNDAF (2010) high malnutrition rates exist especially among children less than five years of age-prevalence in 2010 was recorded as stunting (38 %); underweight (34 %); and wastage (11%). Ethiopia’s overall GDP grew at average of 11% per annum from 2005/6 to 2009/10,  during PASDEP. 

In 2009/10 the share of agriculture in real GDP declined from 43% in 2004/05 to 41.6%. Agriculture still remains the major source of occupation (83%) of the population and the biggest (90%) source of export earnings. Its decisive role in poverty alleviation cannot be emphasized more.

Pastoral areas are characterized by:
•    Pastoralism main production system
•    Mobility of the people with livestock for searching of water and feed
•    Huge cross border socioeconomic interaction
•     Strong traditional institutions for grazing land and water points and conflict management
•    huge rivers for irrigation development / opportunity for diversification of livelihoods                 ( Awash, Wabi Shebelle, Genale Dawa,  Omo etc)

•    Diversified agro-ecology conducive for livestock /crop development
•    Economic contribution of PAPs: livestock, geothermal, eco-tourism is significant
•    Increased demand for livestock products with geographic proximity to MENA markets


•    Climate change effects, desertification                             
•    Drought/flood
•    Degradation and shrinkage of rangelands
•    Widely distributed diseases/livestock and human/
•    Frequent conflicts due to scarcity of resource



In the arid and semi-arid areas (pastoral areas) of the country the following disaster are the common features:

•    Drought
•    Disease outbreaks (human and livestock) and plant pests
•    Flood
•    Conflict

•    Name of IDDRSI Focal Point: Jemal Aliye Gendo , Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
•    Name of IDDRSI Coordinator: Edmealem Shitaye, PhD, Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Somalia IDDRSI Platform Coordination Mechanism aims to provide guidance and technical support in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of components of the national drought resilience program. It is a multifaceted, multisectoral platform that requires the engagement and cooperation of various stakeholders, and, from a drought management perspective, needs the capacities of diverse ministries and national institutions. The Ministry of Livestock, Forestry and Range (MLFR) currently host the Platform Coordination unit. 

Structure of National IDDRSI Coordination Mechanism consists of National Steering Committee (NSC), Technical Committee and task teams. The structure and roles of the components of the coordination mechanism are shown in the following table 




Main Functions

National ministerial Steering Committee)

·         Chair: Minister, MLRF

·         Co-chair: Minster, Agriculture

·         Co-chair: Minster Fisheries & Marine Resources

·         Members: Ministers of the relevant federal ministries and Chairperson of Specialized Committee of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment

·         Rapporteur: IDDRSI National Coordinator

·    Work as a technical coordination committee, comprising relevant stakeholders, NGOs and beneficiaries through pastoral associations and individuals.

·    The highest decision-making body for IDDRSI

·    Provide policy directives to IDDRSI implementation

·    Secure close communication and coordination among implementing institutions and stakeholders

·    Provide linkage to the Cabinets of Ministers and Parliament

·    Report to either the Prime Minister of Deputy Prime Minister

·    Meet biannually or as required

Technical Committee (TC)

·         Chair: DG, MLRF

·         Co-chair: DG, Ag.  DG, Fisheries & Marine Resources

·          National Coordinator

·         Members: Undersecretaries and DGs of the relevant ministries, Chairpersons of Commissions, Representatives from DPs, UN-Agencies, CSOs, Private Sector, Academia and Research Institutions

·    Supervise and monitor the progress of IDDRSI implementation and give feedback to the TC

·    Provide planning, technical and strategic guidance to the NSC

·    Secure close communication and coordination among implementing institutions

·    Review and submit budgets to NSC

·    Meet three time a year and as required

Task Team (TT)

Team leader: Appointed from MLRF

·         Co-team leader: Provided by MA

·         Members: Staff of the relevant institutions and experts from the DPs, UN-Agencies, CSOs...etc.


·    Undertake all activities and tasks necessary for IDDRSI implementation

·    Report the progress of IDDRSI implementation regularly to and obtain feedback from TC

·    Formulate and submit budgets to TC

·    Meet weekly and as required

State Focal Points (SFPs)

·         At least one staff members of state ministries of Livestock, Environment, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Water Resources…etc.


·    Bridge between national and state governments

·    Coordinate with government staff of each state

·    Create awareness of IDDRSI in each state

·    Provide information on the status of disaster resilience of each state

·    Facilitate data collection at the state level

·    Meet biannually at stakeholder meetings

Stakeholder Meetings

Representatives of national government institutions, state focal points, Representatives from DPs, UN-Agencies, CSOs, Private Sector, Academia and Research Institutions

·    Be consulted by the two TTs and provide inputs useful for IDDRSI implementation

·    Meetings are held biannually

At the Relevant Line Ministers level (Resilient Institutions)

Designated lead ministries will coordinate the technical stakeholders in implementation of IDDRSI Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs):

Table 2: IDDRSI Priority Intervention Area (PIAs) Lead Line Ministries


S/ No.


Lead Ministries


Livelihood Support and Basic Services

Ministry of Livestock (Chair) and Ministry of Agriculture  (Co-chair), Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources (Co-chair)


Market Access, Trade and Financial Services

Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Chair) and Ministry of Finance (Co-chair)


Environment and Natural Resources Management

Environment Office (Chair) and Ministry of Water Resources (Co-chair)


Disaster Risk Management, Preparedness and Effective Response

National Drought Disaster Management (Chair)


Research, Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer

Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (Chair) and National Bureau of Statistics (Co-chair)


Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Peace Building

Ministry of Internal Affairs & Security (Chair)

Ministry of Livestock (Co-chair)


Coordination, Institutional Strengthening and Partnerships

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International vestment (Chair)

Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (Co-chair)







  • Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Ocean to the east, and Kenya to the southwest. Its population is estimated at 10.25 million persons (UNDO 2015).
  • Somalia is a pivotal 637,540 Km square land mass occupying most of the strategic coastline of the Horn of Africa, with 9% suitable for cultivation, 17% woodland, 45% for grazing and 29% for other uses. 
  • Somalia has the longest coastline on Africa's mainland and its terrain consists mainly of plateaus, plains and highlands.  Climatically, hot conditions prevail year-round, with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall.

Recent Political Development

Over the last two decades, Somalia was torn by of political instability, civil strife and the absence of a functioning national state. Since the collapse of the government in 1991, the country has undergone a prolonged period of civil war and conflict that have resulted in governance difficulties and institutional breakdown. Most public infrastructure and institutions have deteriorated or destroyed. Livelihoods have been drastically eroded; people’s coping strategies disrupted resulting in large-scale migration and displacement.

However, with the establishment of permanent political institutions in 2012, Somalia entered into a new period where longer-term peace seems possible. Somalia has seen continued progress on the state formation process.

There has been much faster and consistent progress in regional state formations. Somalia has now completed the formation of its six regional member states, which are built through national dialogue and consensus. These are: Jubaland State of Somalia; Southwest State, Puntland; Hirshabelle; Somaliland and Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). Each of these states has its governing structure consisting of Parliament, President and executive council of ministries.

Somalia also continues to hold national elections in 2016. The National Leaders Forum (NLF) held a meeting in Mogadishu from 2 to 9 August endorsed a timetable for the elections, according to which voting for a new federal parliament will be held between 10 to 23 October, and the president will be elected by the new parliament on December 2016. 

Recent economic Development

  • Somalia’s economy has shown remarkable resilience despite over two decades of conflict and weak and ineffective central government. The GDP of Somalia was estimated at close to US$ 5.8 billion in 2010, with a per capita GDP of US$600. The economic conditions improved rapidly in 2012-13. The recovery was led by growth in livestock and fisheries, and a very active private sector resurgence of the services industry, notably communications, construction, and money transfer services, mainly associated with the return of diaspora Somalis (World Bank 2015).
  • The economic activity has further expanded in 2014 with real GDP rising by 3.7 percent. In nominal terms, the GDP increased by 6.6 percent to US$5.7 billion (World Bank 2015). The economic growth was estimated at about $6 billion in 2015, which is six times the pre-war period (1985-1990) average of US $1 billion (World Bank and IMF (April 2016).
  • The economy is highly dependent on imports with the share of exports to GDP being only 14%. Imports account for more than two thirds of GDP, creating a large trade deficit, mainly financed by remittances and international aid.
  • The aggregate imports of goods average about US$460 million per year (Central Bank of Somalia 2015). Exports of about US$270 million annually have surpassed pre-war aggregate export levels (before 1991).
  • Somalia has an informal economy largely based on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications. The most significant industries are: (i) agriculture, livestock, and fisheries; (ii) information and communications; (iii) wholesale and retail trade; and (iv) financial services. 


  • Agriculture is the main sector with livestock accounting for about 65% of the GDP and employment of the workforce and more than 80% of export earnings. Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, khat and machined goods are the principal imports. 
  • While Somalia is presently a food deficit country it has the potential to significantly increase crop production and reduce its dependence on food imports. However, there are number of challenges facing the sector include lack of security, lack of investment, limited technical skills and knowledge, poor water management and inefficient farming systems. In addition, Somalia lacks improved varieties suitable to the different agro-climatic conditions and inadequate pest management means that most crops are subject to numerous attacks and diseases and subsequent reduced yields.
  • Given the average rainfall of less than 500 mm and its variable pattern, rainfed crop production is practiced through out the country except in the coastal sandy plains and high limestone areas. Cereal yields in Somalia are extremely low. Recent evidences reveal that future agricultural strategies should be geared towards the selection, conservation and improvement of local varieties, introduction of new drought and pest resistant varieties and improvement in storage and reduction of post-harvest losses.
  • Significant opportunities for crop production exist under irrigation along the Shebelle and Juba valleys. Gravity or pump-irrigated agriculture is mostly found along the entire lengths of both the Juba and Shebelle rivers.
  • Gravity irrigation along the Shebelle is supported by considerable infrastructures including barrages, canals, river embankments and bridges. Most of the irrigation infrastructure was established to serve commercial farm production, especially for the production of export banana, sugarcane and rice production.
  • Riverine irrigated cropping is the most productive system that is now practiced in large majority by smallholders. Crops grown under irrigated agriculture are maize, sesame and rice but also include fruit trees, such as mango, papaya, lime and bananas.
  • Oasis Farming is practiced in Somaliland and Puntland and traditionally occurs in toggas and springs which provide water for the production of date palms, papaya, citrus and vegetables. 

Role of Private Sector in the Economy

Throughout the years of conflict and fragility, Somalia’s private sector helped maintain economic activity. The absence of restrictive government policies, state provision, regulation, and control encouraged private sector competition and entrepreneurship and a vibrant private sector has moved in to establish basic markets such as telecommunication, money transfers, retail trading, hotels, and newspapers.

Telecommunication companies now provide wireless services in most major cities and offer the cheapest local and international call rates on the continent.  In the absence of a strong formal banking sector, money transfer/remittance services have sprouted throughout the country, handling up to $1.6 billion in remittances annually. Micro entrepreneurs provide distilled water and electricity to towns at affordable prices. The sector offers retail outlets selling everything from cosmetics and books to computer systems. Air, sea and land transportation are also all in private hands. There is active real estate development and construction in the area. 


Despite the progress made, Somalia still faces a daunting development challenge to overcome the legacy of two decades of sustained conflict and fragility.  Among the main challenges, we have:

  • Absence of an active and strong central government,
  • Civil disputes and war that further aggravated the problem of poverty in Somalia. 
  • Natural calamities like floods and droughts. 
  • Somalia's small industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, has largely been destroyed 
  • Somalia’s vibrant private sector may soon reach the limits of its potential if further reforms to the enabling environment, particularly to security and access to finance, are not pursued. 
  • Somalia's government lacks the ability to collect domestic revenue, and arrears to the IMF have continued to grow. 
  • Somalia faces high levels of poverty and inequality, a youth bulge, high unemployment, and large infrastructure gaps. 
  • Somalia‘s demographic profile shows a pronounced youth bulge. According to the High Frequency Survey results, Somalia has a very young population. Approximately 50% of the population is below the age 15 years. This is major source of conflict in Somalia, where two-thirds of youth are unemployed. This is among the factors fueling Al-Shaba’s appeal. 
  • Though weakened, Al Shabaab retains significant terrorist capacity and has focused on asymmetric attacks targeting government and international targets. Southern Somalia is still experiencing active conflict. Puntland has remained relatively peaceful, although Al-Shabaab infiltration into Puntland’s mountainous areas has been growing.
  • The socio-economic situation of the country is very poor. Access to an improved water source and sanitation remains below the Sub-Saharan average. Literacy rates are also low, especially among women 15-24.
  • Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at about US$ 435, making Somalia the 5th poorest country in the world (World Bank 2015). The poverty cuts across sectors, location, group and gender.
  • Malnutrition remains high in many regions of the country and nutrition surveys conducted from October to December 2015 by the FAO indicate that over 300,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished.
  • Conflict and limited access to health care are responsible for high level of poverty and very weak health outcomes. High mortality rates are driven by high death rates in the early stages of life. 
  • Inequitable access to the means of production (land and capital), the skewed distribution of wealth, reduced access to economic goods and services and remunerative employment are all causes of poverty.
  • Somalia is in debt distress, its external debt burden is unsustainable, debt burden indicators meet the threshold for Heavily-Indebted-Poor-Countries-Initiative (HIPIC) eligibility and Somalia’s external debt continues to accumulate in arrears.

New National Development Plan

To address the developmental challenges, the current Somali government developed a National Development Plan (NDP) that covers the fiscal period 2017 to 2019. It is the first NDP developed by the Somali government since 1986. The NDP builds on the foundations laid by the New Deal Compact for Somalia, which articulated national priorities between 2014-2016. 

The NDP stipulates the Somalia‘s short to medium term strategic direction, development priorities and proposed implementation mechanisms including the use of development aid. The Plan focuses on poverty reduction and its implementation will create an environment necessary for the achievement of sustainable development in Somalia. The NDP aims to achieve the following results: 

  1. Secure environment, more open politics and reconciliation
  2. Reduced abject poverty
  3. More resilient communities that can withstand to shocks
  4. Vibrant productive sector, with particular focus on agriculture, livestock and fishing
  5. Increased availability and accessibility of basic social services, especially health, safe drinking water and education
  6. Improved health outcomes
and control of diseases;
  7. Increased employment opportunities 
  8. Empowerment of the federal member states to deliver services and economic 
opportunities to the citizens of Somalia in a secure environment.


  • Somalia features five main ecosystem types: desert and semi-desert (38%), grass and shrubs (36%), interrupted woods (14%), crop and settlements (1%), and the 3,333 km coastline from the Gulf of Aden in the North to the Indian Ocean southwards (11%) bordering Kenya.
  • The arid and semiarid lands (ASALs) cover over 80% of the landmass and are predominantly inhabited by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities who mostly depend on livestock production. The ASALs are characterized by persistent water scarcity, frequent drought, high climatic variability, and various forms of land degradation, including desertification and loss of biodiversity. The threat of the climate change and shifting weather patterns is expected to bring more frequent and longer droughts to the Horn of  Africa region, its agricultural productivity will further decrease putting strain on local food markets, further heightening the food insecurity situation especially in the poverty-stricken and marginal areas.
  • The production systems in ASALs include diverse mix of food, and fodder crops; rangeland and pasture species; vegetables, fruit and fuel-wood trees. 
  • Somalia is dominated by two livelihood systems, pastoralism and agro-pastoralism. A small proportion of the riverine population along the Juba and the Shebelle rivers depends on settled agriculture. Pastoralists, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. There are about fourteen pastoralist livelihood zones in Somalia, which are located mainly in the arid regions in the central and northern parts of the country. 
  • Pastoralist and agr-pastorlist in the Great Horn of Africa/ Somalia are highly exposed to shocks since their livelihoods depend on an increasingly deteriorated natural resource base and on volatile climatic and market conditions.
  • They are also vulnerable to risks/ shocks because they have a limited asset base to fall back on when shocks strike, limited capacity and means to manage risks, and weaker institutional, infrastructural and service networks. 
  • Given their exposure and vulnerability to shocks, the decisions of pastoralist and agr-pastorlist on how to allocate and use resources such as land and labor generally reflect the need to reduce exposure or vulnerability to shocks. Whether or not successful, such strategies can undermine the ability of pastoralist to move out of poverty by preventing or discouraging them from taking the risks involved in pursuing new opportunities
  • The combination of exposure and vulnerability to risks/shocks can make Pastoralist and agr-pastorlist poor, keep them poor, or prevent them from moving out of poverty. 
  • When shocks occur, pastoralist and agr-pastorlist use a number of coping approaches, which often involve selling assets and leaving households and communities more vulnerable to future shocks.

Somalia is a drought prone country due to its geographical location and Pastoralist and agropastrolist communities suffer severe droughts and flooding that results in a pervasive food and nutrition insecurity, land loss and degradation, and outbreaks of human and livestock disease or crop pests. Historically, severe droughts have occurred in Somalia since 1969, 1974, 1987, 1988, 2000, 20001, 2004, 2008 ,2011 and 2016  as shown in Table 3. These major droughts have adversely affected the lives and livelihood of the Somalis specifically rural communities.

The National IDDRSI Platform has been established in accordance with The Constitutional Decree number 380 for 2015 signed by his Excellency the President of the Sudan on 10 / September /2015. It is composed of three main units: 

  • The Ministerial committee consists of eleven Federal Ministers of line ministries of: 
    1. Agriculture; (2) Environment;
    2. council of Ministers;
    3. Finance  and Economic Planning;
    4. Water and Electricity;  
    5. Animal Resources;
    6. Interior;
    7. Federal Governance;
    8. Social Affairs;
    9. International Cooperation;
    10. Environmental Council for Urban development;  
  • The Minister of Agriculture is the chair person for the committee, the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development Co-chair and the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture is the reporter.’ 
  • The Extended Committee is composed of thirty-four members including the under-secretaries of the line ministries, institutions of the line ministries, civil societies, research institutions and education universities. The Under Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the chair person of committee and the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development is the reporter.
  • The IDDRSI Coordinator for Sudan is the coordinator for the platform.

The Ministerial committee meets four times a year to look into policy reform and structure and performance of the extended committee and of the coordination mechanism. The committee reports to the council of ministers. The committee is authorized to look into any document of relevance to its mandate.

The extended committee meets four times a year to implement the mandate of six items:

  • To consider the inclusion of the components of drought policy reforms in the country financial approval,
  • Preparation of plans and strategies and national priorities concerning the drought and disaster initiative and mobilization and  استقطاب  financial resources for the programs and projects,
  • Strengthening the support to ensure national and international linkages to provide policies and indicators for drought in order to reach the target results,
  • Preparation of studies to enhance improvement of coordination mechanism and the coordination between the concerned institutions at the Federal and State levels,
  • Coordination of interaction between platforms within relevant institutions through periodic exchange of information, execution of seminars and workshops, exchange of experience, lessons learnt and good practices and publishing of their knowledge, that is in addition to establishment of information centers relevant to drought in Sudan,
  • The extended committee can seek support from experts, specialists and resource persons perceived as relevant in addition to the development partners to assist the committee in performing its duties.   

The mandate and duties of the Coordination unit are contained in six items:

1. Liaison between the Ministerial and the extended committees,

2. Mobilization of resources to steer the functions of the platform, 

3. Preparation of the regulations for platform meetings,

4. Preparation of meetings agenda and the invitations,

5. Take the responsibility of leadership of duties assigned by the platform.  

6. Committed to national and regional engagement of IDDRSI activities


Sudan is an African country with an area of 188.8 million hectare. Almost 80% of Sudan is within the dry lands with rain fall ≤ 50 - ≥800 mm per annum. The vegetation cover is sparse in the northern desert zone covered with short scrubs to stunted trees increasing in density and size of trees in a profile following the rain fall profile. The tree height culminates in 4.0 – 6 meters in height within the savannah zone.

Special sites that receive more waters are represented by the Nile Basin characterized by rich soils and abundant surface water. Underground water represent a small portion of Sudan area, and the major part of central Sudan lies on basement complex with limited fractions of underground water.

Sudan is predominantly an agricultural country with 80% of agricultural practice depends on rainfall where grains like sorghum, millet and sesames are the main cultivated crops. Along the Nile and in areas where groundwater is promising, irrigated agriculture is practiced. Livestock and pastoral systems constitute a second livelihood supporting practice.

Drought is a major constraint confronting agriculture and pastoral systems.

The population of Sudan is approximately 34.0 million persons. Sudan is characterized by diverse ethnic communities based on tribal origin. Limited areas in west Sudan are facing conflicting interest. Most of conflicts originate as a result of differences in land use and natural resources needs which are caused as a result of droughts.  


Recurrent drought in Sudan witnessed since early 1900s reflected in increasing temperature (left, upper Attbara city, lower, Gedarif) and declining rainfall (right upper Medani, lower, Kassala). Conflicts on natural resources and internal people displacement are common.  


Left: Temperature increasing trend, right: rainfall declining trend. 

About Pastoralist 

Pastoral adopt coping mechanism against drought resilience by nomadic movement from their home during wet season in southern parts to northern areas with lower rains (July – November). They use the pasture and artificial water points. By December they return to their homes to use the dry pasture and browsing trees. Their source of water is based on boreholes and the wet water streams.  

Severe droughts of 1970, 1984, 2010 and 2011 resulted in collapse of crops and range and lead to death of livestock. Various levels of conflicts escalated in armed wars that resulted in lives loss.


Contact IDDRSI National Coordinator Sudan


Professor Elnour Abdalla Elsiddig

Sudan IDDRSI National Coordinator

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



·            Babiker Hassan Adam


·         Email of IDDRSI Focal Point: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


National IDDRSI Platform:

The South Sudan Programming Paper (CPP) was developed and finalized in March 2004 to end drought emergencies in the region.  The CPP outlines a coordination mechanism that was developed through consultation and consensus building between government, development partners, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. The Coordination Mechanism structure includes an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee, a multi-stakeholder Technical Committee, and a multi-stakeholder Task Team. The Delivery of the CPP will be led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and designated lead ministries and government agencies will coordinate technical stakeholders at the component level.

Therefore, South Sudan IDDRSI Platform Coordination Mechanism (PCM) is housed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.  Key principles of the Coordination Mechanism include government ownership and leadership, multi-sectoral representation, state and multi-stakeholder representation and participation, sustained technical assistance and capacity building. IDDRSI  PCM includes:

1/ Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC):
2/ Technical Committee (TC):
3/Task Team (TT):
4/At the component level:
Designated lead ministries and agencies are coordinating the technical stakeholders in implementation of IDDRSI Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs) thus:
1/ Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC):

This body is constituted by all the Ministers of all the relevant ministries, as the highest decision making organ.  It is chaired by the Minister of Environment and Forestry and co-chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.  The key functions of the IMSC are provision of political support and policy directives, approval of resource utilization, linkage to the Council of Ministers and Transitional National Legislative Assembly and reporting to the Vice President who is the patron of the Coordination Mechanism in the Country.  

2/ Technical Committee (TC):

The Technical Committee is constituted of the Undersecretaries and Heads of participating Ministries, and agencies, key technical development partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private sector and the head of the IDDRSI secretariat within the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The main functions of the TC include; supervision of the implementation of the IDDRSI, guiding resource mobilization and coordinate resource allocation, monitoring progress, and reporting to the IMSC.  

The TC is chaired by the Undersecretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, co-chaired by the Undersecretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

3/Task Team (TT):

This is a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder in constitution, with leadership from within government. The membership includes middle level/ technical staff from government ministries and agencies, focal points from each state, expert(s) (technical assistance from IGAD and other Development Partners (DP) and technical representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and private sector. The TT main functions are planning and budgeting for all activities, coordinating and communicating with the stakeholders, organizing meetings and workshops, preparing minutes of the meetings, collecting and analysing data, conducting field visits, disseminating information, reporting the progress of IDDRSI implementation to the TC and obtaining feedback on regular basis.













IDDRSI Priority Intervention Area (PIAs) Lead Agencies

S/ No.


Lead Agencies


Environment and Natural Resources M


Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Chair) and Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (Co-chair)


Market Access, Trade and Financial Services

Ministry of Finance and Planning (Chair) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (Co-chair)


Livelihood Support and Basic Services

Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (Chair)  Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (Co-chair)


Disaster Risk Management, Preparedness and Effective Response

Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (Chair) and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (Co-chair)


Research, Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer

University of Juba (Chair) and National Bureau of Statistics (Co-chair)


Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Peace Building

Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries (Chair) and Peace Commission and Reconciliation (Co-chair)


Coordination, Institutional Strengthening and Partnerships

Ministry of Cabinet Affairs (Chair) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Co-chair)


Short summary about the country:

  • The Republic of  South Sudan is a landlocked country in East Africa and borders  Sudan (1,937 km) from the north, Ethiopia (883 km) from the east, Kenya (232 km), Uganda ( 435 km) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (628 km) from the south and the Central African Republic (682 km) from the west. South Sudan has land area of approximately 640,000 square km (excluding Abeyi) with a population estimate of 8,260,490 inhabitants, of which 82% live in the rural areas (approx. average of 13.5 persons per square km) and an annual growth rate of 55% (Statistical Yearbook for Southern Sudan, 2009). She gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended Africa's longest-running civil war. South Sudan is mostly covered in tropical forest, swamps, and grassland.  
  • The climate ranges from Tropical Semi-Humid climate with a short rainy season in the north to Tropical Wet-Dry and Tropical Rainy climates with progressively longer wet seasons in the south. The south is characterized by much more rainfall and strong seasonal annual variations.
  • The mean annual rainfall ranges between 500 mm in the north to 1,500 mm in the south (8-9 months a year).  The White Nile passes through the country, passing by the capital city of Juba. Half the water of the White Nile is lost in the swamps as vegetation absorbs it or animals drink it.
  • The largest wetlands and flood plains are, covering 5% of the country, all linked to the Nile tributaries that traverse the central plains. The Sudd wetland is one of the main hydrological features of South Sudan. It is the largest wetland that is formed by the White Nile in very flat topography between the towns of Bor and Malakal, covering more than 30,000 km2.
  • The Sudd comprises multiple channels, lakes and swamps, with a maze of thick emergent aquatic vegetation. In June 2006, an area totalling 57,000 km2 was declared Africa’s second largest Ramsar site. More importantly, its ecosystem services are of immense economic and biological importance for the entire region.
  • The Imatong Mountains are located in the southeast of South Sudan in the erstwhile state of Eastern Equatoria, and extend into Uganda. Mount Kinyeti is the highest mountain of the range at 3,187 metres (10,456 ft), and the highest in the whole of South Sudan.
  • The range has an equatorial climate and had dense montane forests supporting diverse wildlife. In recent years the rich ecology has been severely degraded by forest clearance and subsistence farming, leading to extensive erosion of the steep slopes.  
  • The 2013-2016 civil war displaced 2.6 million people and threatened the success of one of the world's newest countries.


  • Arid and Semi- Arid Lands (ASALs) in South Sudan:

The country is endowed with six agro-ecological zones, namely; the Western Flood Plains, the Eastern Flood Plains, the Nile-Sobat Rivers, the Ironstone Plateau, the Green Belt, the Hills and Mountains, the Semi-arid/ Pastoral Zones, as depicted by map (4) below. The most drought prone Zones are the Semi-arid/ Pastoral, the Western Flood Plains and the Eastern Flood Plains. The arid/ semi-arid land (ASALS-areas that receive less than 600 mm in annual rainfall) covers 12-15% of the whole country, covering Eastern Equatoria and parts of Jonglei states. The predominant livelihood system in the ASALs zones is based on pastoral and agro-pastoral production; it is mainly challenged by lack of regular veterinary services, scarcity of pasture and freshwater, insecurity and the associated violent appropriation of assets and livestock diseases. There is increasing human and social vulnerability to environmental hazards and economic shocks, aggravated by droughts, resource-based conflicts and political instability in South Sudan.

Pastoralism in South Sudan:

  • Pastoralism is defined as pastoral production systems in which 50% of gross household revenue comes from livestock and livestock products (Swift (1988)). Therefore, pastoralist ethnic groups are those who rely on livestock production for their livelihoods and follow the pastoralist culture and the way of life (Baxter, 1994; Morton and Meadows, 2000). In South Sudan, pastoralists are typically found in the arid and semi-arid lands and distinguished from typical agriculture by mobility, often in search of grazing land and water sources.
  • It is indicated that 90% of the population of South Sudanese are rural (32.6% agrarian, 45.5 agro- pastoralists and 12% categorized as fisher – folk and other trades 9.9%) and 10% Urban residents respectively (Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF) Policy,2012/2016). The arable land constitutes 80% and 50% is the prime land.
  • The arid/ semi-arid land covers 12-15% of the whole country. The country is well endowed with a wide range of natural resources: forests, livestock, fisheries and water resources, wildlife, minerals and petroleum/natural gas. The main source of livelihood in the country is crop farming and animal husbandry (76% of the population are involved). South Sudan has the 7th largest herd and the highest livestock per capita holding in Africa with an estimated livestock population of 11.7 million head of cattle, 12.4 million goats and 12.0 million sheep.
  • The main products are meat, dairy products, hides and skin and eggs. Pastoralism is undertaken in the more arid and semi-arid zones such as East Equatoria and parts of Jonglei states.  Livestock systems are either nomadic pastoralist or mixed crop livestock systems and are a major source of livelihoods, especially in the floodplains and the semi-arid pastoral areas.
  •  Livestock is an important economic asset, in addition to having a huge cultural value. Ownership of cattle is also a risk mitigation tool for pastoralists and farmers, the latter continually facing uncertainty caused by crop failure.
  • Data from the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF) as well as the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicate that about 85% of South Sudanese households own one or more animal.  This suggests that South Sudan has approximately 1.1 million livestock farmers. Major challenges facing the livestock industry are as follows:
    1. Social model, which circumscribes market orientation and limits value chain exploitation. 
    2. Weak off -farm infrastructure.
    3. Insecurity and cattle rustling. 
    4. Lack of trust. Inter-communal strife and low level of trust among South Sudanese constitute a hidden tax on transactions.
    5. Poor breeds. 
    6. Poor animal health.
    7. Inadequacy of animal feeds.
    8. Nascent private sector and low level of entrepreneurship. 
    9. Challenging economic policy environment. Several policy factors inhibit growth of the livestock sector. These include: (i) inadequate and high cost of labor; (ii) high transportation costs; (iii) unclear land tenure; and (iv) high and multiple taxation.

Disasters in South Sudan:

  • Drought affected South Sudan in 2010/2011 followed by severe flooding in 2012/2013 (Map 3 below) that had affected nine of the 10 South Sudanese states leaving an estimated 223,000 in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • Outbreaks of armed violence in Juba in December 2013 and July 2016 had forced 2.6 million of South Sudanese to flee their homes with the number of refugees reaching one million in Uganda alone. Half of the population (4.8 million) is in need of lifesaving assistance and protection.
  • Disruptions to markets, rapid inflation (over 800%) and devaluation of the local currency are worsening food insecurity in the country.


    Cholera, malaria and kalaazar continue to be major causes of death in the country


    There are a number of factors that exacerbate the impact of drought in South Sudan, namely:


    1/ Natural resource-based conflict

    2/ Political instability

    3/ Economic marginalization and low investment

    4/ Focus on social off-take rather than economic off-take of livestock 

    5/ Youth unemployment and unrest (cattle rustling/ theft) (Resilience Focus, March 2014)


    IDDRSI Focal Point:

    • Mr Tong Majij Tong          

     IDDRSI Coordinator:

    •  Mr William Olami Athil

     Related  Links 


    Relevant government agency



    Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation


    Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management


    National Bureau of Statistics

The Uganda IDDRSI Coordination Mechanism will be housed in the office of the prime Minister whose mandate is enshrined in Article 108 A of the Constitution ‘as the Leader of Government Business in Parliament and be responsible for coordination and implementation of Government Policies across Ministries, Departments and other Public Institutions’’. It will also be informed by the country programming paper and IDDRSI strategy.  Key principles of the Coordination Mechanism will include government ownership and leadership, multi-sectoral representation, multi-stakeholder representation and participation, sustained technical assistance and capacity building. 

At Sector level the designated lead ministries and agencies will coordinate the sectoral technical stakeholders in implementation of IDDRSI Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs) thus:

  •  An Inter-Ministerial Policy Committee:

This body is constituted by all the Ministers of all the relevant ministries, as the highest decision making organ. The key functions of the Inter-Ministerial Policy Committee will be provision of policy directions, political support, linkage to cabinet and parliament and reporting to the Prime Minister, who will be the patron of the Coordination Mechanism in the Country.

The Inter-Ministerial Policy Committee will be composed of:

1/ Hon. Minister, Office of the Prime Minister - Chair

2/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries    - Co-chair

3/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of trade, industry and Cooperatives - Member

4/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Member

5/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development- Member

6/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development -    Member

7/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of Gender, labour and social Development - Member

8/ Hon. Minister, Ministry of water and Environment -   Member.

9/ Uganda Wildlife Authority (Ministry of Tourism, wildlife and Antiquities) -Member

10/Ministry of lands, Housing and Urban Dev’t. -Member

11/ Min of Local Government-Member

12/Min of Health -Member

13/Min of Education and Sports- Member

  • Steering Committee:

The Technical Committee is constituted of the permanent Secretaries, Directors and Commissioners in line Ministries, key technical development partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private sector and the head of the secretariat from OPM. The main functions of the Technical Committee will include supervision and back stopping of the implementation of the IDDRSI, guiding resource mobilization and allocation, monitoring progress, and reporting to the Inter-Ministerial policy Committee.  

  • Technical Committee:

This is a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder committee, with leadership from OPM. The membership will include middle level/ technical staff from line MDAs (Ministries, Development partners/Agencies),NGOS/CSOS and private sector. The main functions will be: Coordination, monitoring and Evaluation, Planning and Budgeting, Implementation, Information Management, Capacity Building, Lobbying and Advocacy, Resource mobilization and Reporting to the Steering Committee. 

  • At Sectoral Level.

Designated lead ministries and agencies will coordinate the technical stakeholders in implementation of IDDRSI Priority Intervention Areas (PIAs) thus:

Short summary about the country 

  • Landlocked Uganda has transformed itself from a country with a troubled past to one of relative stability and prosperity.
  • Since its independence from Britain in 1962, the east African nation has endured a military coup, followed by a brutal military dictatorship which ended in 1979, disputed elections in 1980 and a five-year war that brought current President Yoweri Museveni to power in 1986.
  • The country has also had to contend with a brutal 20-year insurgency in the north, led by the Lord's Resistance Army.
  • While the country has won praise for its vigorous campaign against HIV/AIDS it has also attracted international attention for its hardening stance against the LGBT community.
  • Pastoralism in Uganda Historically, pastoralism in Uganda has been viewed as a retrogressive and backward practice. Official policy has been discouraging pastoralism in favour of sedentary livestock production. Despite this, the pastoralist subsector has continued to contribute significantly to the economy of the country in both direct monetary terms and non-monetized contributions like manure, traction power, livelihood safety nets and ecological conservation.
  • Drylands account for over 90% of the national herd of cattle with 50% of the cattle owned by pastoralists. Despite this strong standing, nowhere else in the country are poverty indicators more glaring? With over 40% of the pastoralists living under the poverty line, Drylands constitute a severe poverty hotspot.
  • This situation gets worse when other aspects of poverty are factored in. It is notable, however, that pastoral livestock production makes a very significant contribution to both the GDP (7.5%) and the agricultural GDP (AGDP) (17%).
  • The earnings from the exports of hides and skin generated US$19m in 2001/02, fourth after fish (US$88m), coffee (US$85m), and maize (US$20m). A recent study (Oxfam, 2003) in the pastoralist districts of Kotido, Nakasongola and Sembabule indicated that even here, district revenues on account of livestock activities alone amounted to 60%, 65% and 50% of total revenues respectively. Despite this contribution, pastoralists remain a forgotten lot in national development plans. Clearly, there is minimal direct investment into livestock production, both at national or local government level.
  • The potential opportunity cost of the continued exclusion of livestock in general and pastoralists in particular from mainstream economic activities has been estimated at UGX24 billion per annum, excluding middlemen, industries, exporters and non-monetized activities. Without productivity increases, pastoral communities in the drylands can only develop as fast as the animal population they depend on.
  • However, present livestock populations are in many cases close to or above the maximum a diminishing resource base can support over the longer term, suffice it to note that increased livestock productivity is hardly possible when human and animal populations are pressing constantly against resource base limits.
  • There is limited crop production in the drylands; moreover, this is destined for household use or local trading at relatively low prices. Local and transboundary rustling are depleting the cattle in the northeast. All these curtail incentives to invest in land resources conservation.
  • The current government drive for modernizing agriculture has apparently tended to focus more on production of crops while the livestock 8 Dryland Husbandry in Uganda sector has continued to receive minimal attention despite its big contribution of about 38% to the agricultural GDP. It is important to note, however, that modernization of the livestock sector should be dully addressed giving special consideration to the pastoral livestock producers inhabiting the rangelands of Uganda because they occupy approximately 35% of the total area and keep about 95% of the total cattle population of the country. 

 Common Natural Disasters in Uganda

  • Droughts and Famine: Parts of the district are affected by famine due to prolonged periods of drought occurring in a cyclic pattern every 3 to 5 years. The area reaching the Ankole cattle corridor is most affected with significant food insecurity, often necessitating humanitarian assistance; there is a high prevalence of under nutrition especially in children.
  • Epidemics and diseases: They are the single most important public health emergency in the districts of Uganda and neighboring countries. Most threatening includes Ebola, Marburg, Cholera HIV/AIDS and Malaria. While 90% of the country is hyper-endemic for malaria, some high altitude regions in Western Uganda are continually threatened by epidemics of un-stable malaria.
  • Floods: Floods are relatively common in parts of Uganda, especially during the cycle of adverse weather that follows the El-Niño years. Recently, there was a large scale disaster of floods in the areas of Kasese and in the East.
  • Land-slides: In Uganda, areas prone to landslides include the mountainous areas of the East and the Rwenzori Region. Human activities like agriculture on these hilly places accelerate the effects.
  • Hail Storms: Parts of Uganda have frequent hail storms characterized by heavy rains and violent winds. Hailstorms and thunderstorms result in destruction of crops, animals, public infrastructure and human settlements.


Crop Pests and diseases: Pests and diseases are a major problem and may lead to food insecurity. Common pests in include weevils and caterpillars; diseases include coffee wilt, banana wilt and cassava mosaic.

Earth Quakes: especially in the Western Rift Valley in the Rwenzori Region. Many parts of Western Uganda are prone to seismic activity. In 1994, an earthquake hit districts in Rwenzori region affecting over 50,000 people. There were numerous tremors in 2007.

Man-Made Disasters of Major Importance in Uganda

Conflict, wars and Internal Displacement: In the past Uganda has been affected by successive armed conflicts. Between 1980 and 1986, a civil conflict raged in Uganda had many activities going on in Uganda. The ADF armed conflict of 1994 to 2000 also left many people killed and many losing property. The LRA did many atrocities in Northern Uganda.

Fires: Fires are a common occurrence in Kamwenge including both bush fires and electricity fires caused by haphazard electrical wiring and poor construction standards.

Transport accidents: According to WHO, Uganda ranks 2nd only to Ethiopia in the magnitude of Road Traffic Accidents in Sub-Saharan Africa. These mainly occur in vehicles that transport larger numbers of people and are confounded by long distance trucks that transport agricultural produce from Uganda to the world markets.

Environmental Degradation: Over the last 3 decades, there has been significant damage to the environment, increasing the potential for major natural disasters. This is closely related to deforestation in the rural areas and encroachment into wetlands in the urban areas.

Vulnerability Assessment: Communities in Uganda are highly vulnerable to the hazardous effects of disasters. Factors most responsible for this are: Poverty, age, gender, disability, lack of information, lack of experience, inadequate health care, geographical isolation of some underserved areas, inadequate coordination, malnutrition, inappropriate development policies, food insecurity, societal stratification, poor water and food quality, limited district level resources, politics, graft, lack of social order, high burden of illness and inadequate disaster preparedness or mitigation.