2013 Congressional Budget Justification
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WASHINGTON - March 5, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. –March 5, 2012–Herders in northern Kenya will be using microfinance loans to build up their herds and increase their incomes thanks to an economic development grant from the United States African Development Foundation (USADF). A local Kenyan nongovernmental organization Lokichoggio Peace Organization (LOPEO) will improve the way microfinance loans are provided and managed in Turkana. Using USADF’s grant, LOPEO will jump start a lending program to help herders earn a greater living by improving their access to capital.
“LOPEO currently provides small loans of $150 to help herders buy about 10 goats,” said Timothy Nzioka, USADF’s Regional Representative and Senior Advisor to the President based in Nairobi, Kenya. Goats provide families with food and act as a first step towards developing a greater set of income generating assets. “Currently LOPEO lacks the institutional capacity to manage loans but after the USADF capacity building grant is finished, LOPEO will be able to supply loans which can buy camels and cattle,” said Mr. Nzioka. A family with a herd of goats, cattle and camels is no longer dependent on aid.
Turkana is Kenya’s largest district, but its poorest. 75 percent of the population depends on food aid for survival. Drought and climate change in recent years forced more and more herders to rely on aid to survive.
LOPEO is a sustainable microcredit enterprise that will serve herders in remote areas for generations to come. This approach brings a new sense of peace and stability to communities surrounding the Kakuma Refugee Camp, which serves over 70,000 refugees who fled wars in neighboring Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
USADF committed $3.5 million towards the Turkana Food Security Program in 2011 and 2012. This ground breaking initiative creates jobs and improves food security in a region known for its dependency on international relief. USADF's focus is on fisheries, irrigation and animal husbandry projects to improve incomes and quality of life in the region.
To learn more about USADF’s work with marginalized communities and populations, visit our the Kenya page. Watch a video on USADF's Turkana Food Security Program on You Tube. See a map of USADF grants in northern Kenya.