Rome(Mogadishu24)-The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Somali government have on Tuesday announced the Rural Livelihood Resilience Programme (RLRP), a groundbreaking $31.22 million initiative designed to enhance agricultural productivity and ensure food security for rural communities in Somalia.

This program, IFAD’s first direct investment in the country since Somalia cleared its debt with the fund, aims to “make sure that the poorest and most vulnerable in rural areas are not left behind,” according to IFAD President Alvaro Lario. He highlighted the importance of the initiative in addressing challenges such as climate change, decades-long conflicts, and environmental degradation.

Mohamed A. Hayir, Somalia’s Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, emphasized the program’s transformative potential: “It helps to equip the rural poor with skills and jobs to achieve food security and prosperity despite the challenges of climate change.”

The RLRP will reach 30,000 households over eight years, focusing on water management, agricultural productivity, and market access. It prioritizes vulnerable groups, especially women and youth, in its efforts to build a resilient, sustainable rural economy.

Thanks to the support from Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Sweden, Somalia cleared its IFAD debt, facilitating this new phase of investment. Minister of Finance Bihi Egeh expressed gratitude for the international support that helped Somalia reach the HIPC completion point, a crucial step toward the country’s recovery and growth.

The initiative marks a significant milestone in Somalia’s path toward economic and socio-economic improvement, reflecting IFAD’s commitment to supporting rural development even through challenging times.

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