The role of livelihood security project in the achievement of MDGs

Asmara – As the result of the border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia some 60,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 10,000 rural expellees were sheltered in emergency camps in harsh condition in the most war affected areas of Debub and Gash Barka and Southern Red Sea regions. The IDPs have been assisted over the last 8 years to return/ resettle and reintegrate to their communities of origin or new resettlement areas.

To address the support of these IDPs and expellees, the Government and United Nations Development Programme (on behalf of the participating UN Agencies in the project) have signed a joint programme in November 2004. The Programme was revised and expended in 2006.

Soon after the programme was started to be implemented phase by phase both in Gash Barka and Debub administrative regions, all IDPs/expellees temporary make shift shelters in all provisional camps were closed in the country. The recovery programme is one of the success stories of UN supported programmes and projects in Eritrea.

The main thrust of the livelihoods security component of the joint programme is to support vulnerable groups with special emphasis on disadvantaged women and children by ensuring equitable access to social services like water, education, food/nutrition, health). It is believed that this project will contribute in the efforts to achieve the Millennium development Goals of 1, 2, 3 and 7. Reports indicate that Eritrea is one of the 16 countries globally and one of the four countries in Africa forecast to achieve most of the MDGs by 2015 target year.

The livelihood security component which is supported by the European Commission, Norway, UNDP and UN CERF, responds to the needs of these vulnerable IDPs/ expellees focusing on the women headed house holds with their children under5 years age. Providing diary goats to this particular group of the society provides an opportunity to supplement the daily diet of the children under 5 and will enhance their nutrition deficiencies.

During the period covering 24 September to 31 December 2009, 900 women headed households in Gash Barka regional administration have received five diary goats per household to alleviate their food shortages and to improve the nutrition status of the women in general and children U-5 in general.