ADDIS ABABA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday announced that preparatory works have finalized to launch a new initiative to create drought resilience in drought-prone areas of Ethiopia.
The UN agency has recently called for an urgent injection of international funding to curve looming drought in Ethiopia, which affects 7.8 million Ethiopians in need of emergency humanitarian assistance.
"More than ever, the livelihood of farmers and pastoralists in the country is threatened by drought," said Pascal Johannes, WFP Deputy Country Director to Ethiopia.
According to WFP, the pastoral regions of Ethiopia are affected by severe droughts every three to five years, which resulted in the loss of large numbers of livestock due to starvation, lack of drinking water and associated diseases.
The new initiative aims to mitigate the drought risk faced by pastoralists and farmers through weather index based crop and livestock insurance scheme.
According to Johannes, preparatory works have been finalized to launch the program in three districts of Somali region by providing insurance coverage for about 5,000 households.
WFP, aiming to scale up the number of beneficiaries to 500,000 over the coming five-year period, is working with four insurance companies in Ethiopia to establish a pool co-insurance mechanism to jointly provide the insurance coverage for pastoralist communities in the county.