Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific

Readiness for El Niño project: Pro-resilience in response to food insecurity in ACP countries

20/06/2018 - 14:36
Agriculture and Food Safety

Enhancing drought readiness in the Republic of Marshall Islands

Republic of Marshall Islands was one of the first countries in the north Pacific to declare a State of Emergency relating to the El Niño drought on 3rd February 2016, followed by a declaration of a State of Disaster on 8th March 2016. With the country consisting of 34 islands and low lying atolls, 2-4m above sea level, the drought is causing serious water shortages, agricultural losses and health impacts for all 54 000 residents. In March 2016, water tanks on affected islands were nearly empty, and most well water had become undrinkable due to high salinity levels resulting in serious nutritional and health impacts for men, women and especially children.

Several problems that the country faces will be supported with through a series of activities focused around enhancing drought readiness and specifically are:

  • review and update of drought readiness plans and their supporting legislation;
  • behavioural change activities, in collaboration with women groups, focusing around water conservation and making drought readiness an ongoing activity;
  • expansion of existing investigations into the yield of underground water lenses; 
  • design and implementation of specific low cost, low maintenance measures to improve the supply and quality of water resources especially in populated outer islands and that also include the private sector. 


Total Cost (EUR): 1 575 000

EU contracted amount (EUR): 1 575 000

Duration: July 2017 - November 2020

Implementing organisation: Pacific Community (SPC)

Funding Instrument: European Development Fund (EDF)

Benefitting zone: Republic of Marshall Islands

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