OREANDA-NEWS. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Sudan, in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), launched, on Monday, November 22, the Sudan component of Phase II of the Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihood Program for the Horn of Africa (DRSLP-II).

The Sudan component of the DRSLP-II is financed with USD 30 million from the Bank’s Regional Operations Window, approved in two successive grants. It is the second phase of the Bank’s long-term drought resilience program in 8 countries in the Horn of Africa including Sudan, financed with USD 300 million to be implemented in 15-20 years. The program seeks to contribute to poverty reduction, food security and accelerate sustainable economic growth through increased rural incomes.

The ceremony was presided over by Musa Tibin Musa Adam, the Sudanese Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Range Lands, and Abdul Kamara, Resident Representative of the AfDB in Sudan. The event was attended by several Government officials, officials of IGAD (the executing agency) and official of the three beneficiary states (Kassala, Gadaref and White Nile). The occasion was also attended by experts from the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, C?te d’Ivoire, led by Josephine Mwangi, Division Manager at the Agriculture and Natural Resource Department.

The Minister praised the AfDB for the tremendous support to his country and thanked the Bank for launching this regional project, which he said will enhance drought resilience and improve the livelihoods of the pastoral and agro-pastoral population in Sudan. He also expressed appreciation for other Bank’s interventions and initiatives in the country, despite arrears situation, and made a strong commitment to accelerate the implementation of this project.

For his part, the Resident Representative assured the Government of the Bank’s continued assistance to Sudan in support of its development agenda as depicted in the National Development Plan, the Economic Reform Program and the PRSP that is currently under preparation. He added that despite the non-accrual status of the country, the Bank’s Transitional Support (TSF) makes it possible to continue to provide targeted financing, with a current portfolio size of about USD 185 million, which is entirely grant resources financing various sectors, including education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, public financial management and accountability, and other capacity-building operations.

Josephine Mwangi underscored the need for close collaboration with the implementation agency (IGAD), highlighting that overall ownership and success of the program rest on the commitment of the Government of the Sudan.

The experts from the African Development Bank and IGAD will conduct a further three-day technical training for the project implementation team, to acquaint them with the Bank’s procurement, disbursement and financial management processes. It will also cover the management of program activities and coordination among the different entities with IGAD assuming implementation responsibilities, in close collaboration with the government,