The project, launched in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, will boost recovery from floods and drought for an estimated 36,000 people in Hirshabelle and Jubaland in the country.
"This intervention is a timely and important initiative that will help to protect and improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and their families in this region," FAO Representative in Somalia Etienne Peterschmitt said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
According to Peterschmitt, the initiative will help FAO to scale up El Nino response and recovery interventions aimed at strengthening livelihoods and improving food security outcomes for affected households living along the Juba and Shabelle rivers.
FAO said the project is designed to complement humanitarian and resilience interventions to develop community-level skills and assets that minimize the impact of natural disasters and promote quick recovery from shocks and stresses in a cost-effective and collaborative manner.
It also said that the project backed by Norway and Somalia is in response to the devastating impacts of the prolonged drought and floods on the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in Somalia and is also part of the ongoing anticipatory action and response to El Niño.
Furthermore, FAO's El Niño mitigation, preparedness and response plan was activated with a focus on riverine areas, expected to be the hardest hit by floods, as an urgent appeal to be implemented in close collaboration with government partners and other humanitarian actors in Somalia.
According to FAO, Somalia has considerable productive resources which offer a huge potential for delivering rapid economic growth of critical importance to people's livelihoods.
"Crop production is concentrated mainly in the southern part of the country, where the most fertile land is located, and riverine irrigation water is abundantly available," FAO said.
Somalia faced a severe drought from 2020 to the first quarter of 2023, significantly impacting the affected population's capacity to cope with the following floods.