USAID/East Africa's Mission Director Jeffrey Ashley and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development's (IGAD) Executive Secretary Mahboub M. Maalim, signed an agreement on September 21, 2012 to continue USAID support to IGAD's Conflict Early Warning and Response Network (CEWARN).
The agreement also expands this ten-year partnership to support IGAD's other two initiatives: the Regional Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Platform and the Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC).
USAID assistance will support implementation of CEWARN's new strategy, which will see the network move away from alerting the relevant authorities of imminent clashes. Instead, to prevent and mitigate conflict it will focus on integrating timely conflict early warning and response analysis into policy making at the local, national and regional levels.
The Horn of Africa 2010-11 drought, which put 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, prompted IGAD to initiate the Regional Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Platform, a high level body set up to prioritize national and regional interventions aimed at building drought resilience in arid and semi-arid parts of the region. USAID will support the development of the professional staff at the IGAD Secretariat working on the platform and building the regional knowledge management program.
As part of its growing efforts on Global Climate Change, USAID will also fund ICPAC, which the African Union has named an East African Centre for Excellence for weather and climate information. Traditionally focused on forecasting weather and providing early warnings of drought and floods, ICPAC will now merge local and regional data into global climate-change models, to improve predictions of how East African climate may change in the next 20 - 100 years.
The current USAID grant will provide more than $2 million to IGAD for two years ending December 31, 2014.