The pastoral areas of Ethiopia have been socially marginalized and their economic activities were rudimentary detached from the macro economy. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) has mandated the Ministry of Federal Affairs (MoFA) to coordinate and facilitate the program with due commitment to ensure equitable development in the pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of the country based on the Government of Ethiopia's policies of equitable and just distribution of resources.
As a result the Ethiopian Government in collaboration with the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has started implementing a 15-year Pastoral Community Development Program (PCDP) aiming at establishing effective models of public service delivery, investment and disaster management in the arid and semi-arid Ethiopian lowlands that address pastoral communities’ priority needs, improve their livelihoods, alleviate poverty and reduce their vulnerability.
Over the fifteen-year period, PCDP's interventions are designed to empower communities, districts (Weredas) and Regional governments to better manage local development in pastoral areas, with the aim of increasing, stabilizing and diversifying incomes, improving infrastructure and increasing access to public services.
The first phase of the program has been implemented based on the basic principles of the program, in line with the government policies and development strategies and action plans of the Regional governments of four regions namely: Somali, Afar, Oromia and SNNPR. During the five years of the first phase of the program, the project has exhibited significant achievements in attaining its development objectives in 32 pastoral and agro-pastoral weredas of the four regions.
During the first phase of the project, more than 1,804 different types of community sub-projects have been implemented with direct and active participation of beneficiary communities based on their prioritized Community Action Plans (CAPs), out of which 1,412 (78%) are completed. Out of those completed subprojects, 84% (1,186) were fully operational and providing the intended service to the beneficiaries.
Currently the project is in its second phase of operation starting from October 9, 2008. The Second phase of the project will continue till 2013. The total number of woredas covered during the second phase is 55 with regional distribution of 21 in Somali, 14 in Afar, 14 Oromia and 6 in SNNPR, which represent approximately 45% of pastoral and agro-pastoral woredas in the country. During this period the project is expected to benefit more than 600,000 pastoral households.
The total budget earmarked for the second phase of the project is USD 138.7 million out of which USD 80 million is covered by the World Bank, USD 39 million by IFAD, USD 5 million Regional Governments and USD 14.7 million by the Beneficiary communities