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World Bank Offers $480 Mln To Combat Drought In Ethiopia

October 23, 2009

The financing is intended to support the government’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), which provides transfers to the chronically food insecure population in a way that prevents asset depletion at the household level and creates productive assets at the community level.

Ethiopia is currently facing a food crisis because of a prolonged drought and it has prompted the government to appeal for emergency aid to feed an estimated 6.2 million people.

The funding is also intended to support the government’s House Asset Building Program (HABP), which is designed to assist food insecure households by diversifying income sources, improving productivity and increasing productive assets. Households are considered chronically insecure if they have received food aid assistance over the last three years, and estimates reveal that Ethiopia has 8 million inhabitants classified under this category.

“Food aid to Ethiopia in the past was often too little, too late, which meant families were often forced to sell livestock, tools or other productive assets to meet their daily needs,” said HABP task team leader William Wiseman. “These programs are different because they provide support that families can count on and the infrastructure, credit, and training that they need for long term food security.”

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