Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs(ARRA) today welcomed a multiyear contribution of US$ 10.5 million from the Government of Sweden to provide innovative solutions for building resilience of vulnerable populations in Ethiopia.

This contribution will enable WFP to work with Government and NGO partners to strengthen the Ethiopian Government’s logistics capacity and improve early warning, surveillance and beneficiary feedback mechanisms. It will also support the scale-up of the satellite index insurance for small-scale farmers and pastoralists, as well as promote livelihood and resilience-building activities amongst refugees and host communities alike.

As investing in long-term resilience is essential to mitigate the effects of recurrent drought and food insecurity, WFP will collaborate with a group of diverse partners to promote self-reliance among the most vulnerable. Led by the Ethiopian Government’s entities responsible at federal, regional and district levels, WFP will work in partnership with Mercy Corps and Farm Africa to implement the project.

“This contribution comes at an absolutely critical time, when resources for resilience interventions are urgently needed,” said Joyce Luma, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Ethiopia. “In addition to providing support for immediate humanitarian needs, this contribution from Sweden will enable WFP to address long-term food insecurity and support climate change adaptation.”

Deputy Director at the Government refugee agency (ARRA), Zeynu Jemal, referred to the Government’s recent nine commitment to support refugees with a wider support to hosting communities as the government embarks “to materialize these nine Pledges and move towards a comprehensive response to refugees and called for the international community to renew commitment for the realization of the Pledges inlight of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) application in the country. The Swedish support ,he said, would boost livelihood interventions for refugees and hosting communities in areas such as Dollo Ado where ARRA, together with partners, is currently undertaking projects to “benefit populations through farming and irrigation schemes using the Genale river”, he added.

Through this four-year resilience programme, interventions implemented by WFP, Mercy Corps and Farm Africa will support the Government of Ethiopia in its objective to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) – Zero Hunger.

“We believe WFP has a role to play both in humanitarian and long-term development cooperation to ensure a life of dignity for poor people,” explained Annika Nordin Jayawardena, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Development co-operation at the Swedish Embassy. “We are happy to support them in this program on resilience, where WFP and their partners will work with experienced NGOs in small-scale irrigation, farming and improving access to markets and insurance.”

In addition, Nordin welcomed the expected improvements in logistics, insurance and early warning systems nationwide, while also noting the joint commitment of WFP and the Government of Sweden in connecting humanitarian assistance with development activities.

Building resilience is now more important than ever. WFP is working with the Government of Ethiopia to reach 3.7 million people in the Somali Region with emergency relief assistance. However, WFP urgently requires US$ 73 million through June 2018, in order to provide uninterrupted food assistance to those in need.