RLP - Horn of Africa Regional Livestock Program

Pastoralist communities in the Horn of Africa (HoA) rely on livestock as their main livelihood source. They face multiple pressures of climate change, degraded natural resources, and conflicts. The program will support historically underdeveloped pastoralist cross-border communities of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya to become more climate resilient and derive sustainable livelihoods from inclusive livestock market systems. The intervention takes a regional approach – linking production, markets, and policy.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Horn of Africa
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural development
Agricultural financial services
Agricultural research
01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026
CHF  13’741’000
Background Pastoralism and livestock production are an important source of livelihoods and income in the HoA. An estimated 20 million of women and men in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia rely on livestock and livestock products. Despite the opportunities, they have in terms of herd sizes and demand for their products, pastoralists remain vulnerable to climate variability and least participate in the livestock value chains activities beyond production. This program proposes to address systemic constraints by taking a regional approach to livestock systems and supporting pastoralists to boost their production, productivity, access to markets and improve the policy environment. A regional livestock sector study conducted jointly by SDC and Mercycorps laid the foundation of the programme.
Objectives Pastoral communities in target trade corridors have more climate resilient, inclusive, and sustainable livelihoods.
Target groups

Poor women and men livestock producers, trader groups and SMEs operating within livestock markets in the HoA.

540,000 pastoralists (we aim at 50% target for women and girls) across 3 countries, 120 small and medium enterprises (one third women owned), and 7 community level customary institutions.

Public institutions that are involved in livestock sector service delivery.

Medium-term outcomes

1)    Livestock producers - especially women and youth - have improved sustainable production and productivity.

2)    Livestock market actors - especially women and youth - have efficient and profitable engagement with domestic and international markets.

3)    Regional, national and subnational policy frameworks and environments are inclusive, supportive and enabling to livestock market actors.



Expected results:  

1)    Customary and government institutions lead participatory rangeland management and enhance conflict resolution.

2)    Livestock producers use improved animal health, water and rangelands management services.

3)    Early warning and disaster preparedness and response systems strengthened.

4)    Trade corridor coordination and investment plans established and operationalized through industry associations.

5)    Technical, operational and capacity of MSMEs strengthened, supply chains formed and use of public-private partnerships expanded.

6)    Coordination and regulatory frameworks on animal health and sanitary measures, rangeland resource sharing and trade policies operationalized and harmonised.

7)    Market opportunity expanded through African Continental Free Trade Area and harmonized policy approach supported.

Results from previous phases:  

NRM-Borana project

-    Reached 12,120 households (41% women-headed) to improve their natural resources, conflict resolution, economic empowerment and humanitarian support.

-    Increased access to pasture land by rehabilitating 8,347.68 hectares of bush encroached rangeland, 14 ponds and 6 traditional deep water wells. Engaged 877 pastoralist women in income gaining activities.

-    Increased coordination and collaboration across various actors in 16 operational Kebeles of Dire, Miyo, Dillo, Dhas and Wachile districts.

IGAD–FAO Partnership Programme

-    Fifteen target communities from Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia supported to develop community action plans and financed cross-border joint investments through community grants worth USD 300,000 that benefitted about 7,500 households (36% women).

-    Established and developed the capacity of 30 agro-pastoral farmers.

-    Improved cross-border coordination by facilitating dialogue between governments, ensuring local level coordination and implementation, and strengthening existing collaborations.

-    7.8 million heads of livestock vaccinated against the targeted TADs, benefitting 250,254 pastoralists along the Ethiopia-Kenya border.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
International or foreign NGO
Other International Organization
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Other OI
  • Research Organisation of South East

Other partners
Mercy Corps, IGAD, Helvetas/Welthungerhilfe.
Coordination with other projects and actors


IGAD Land Governance program in the Somali cluster

Livestock Sector Support Program (LSS)


Lowlands Livelihood Resilience Project (LLRP)

World Bank DRIVE program

Trade Mark East Africa

Mercycorp’s RiPA

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    13’741’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’746’844
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2022 - 31.12.2026   (Current phase)