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Pacific Community, 18th July 2018

Communities in the remote, drought prone, northern atolls of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) are trialling new food security measures to increase the availability of local food crops, expand the use of drought resistant crop varieties, improve soil management practices, and establish nurseries.

These efforts are part of the European Union – North Pacific – Readiness for El Niño (RENI) project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The project is a response to the severe 2015-2016 El Niño drought, and will enhance the resilience of communities to potential shocks and insecurities resulting from future droughts.

RENI has adopted a participatory approach to this project, which incorporates the rights and vulnerabilities of women and marginalised groups.  National and local area consultations were held early in 2018 to ensure that the voices of local communities in RMI were heard and that the project activities address their practical needs.  Following this planning process, a detailed project design document was finalised by the Government of RMI and SPC in July 2018.

Team Leader, Climate Change, Energy, and Circular Economy, Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Mr Adrian Nicolae emphasized the wide-ranging benefits of the RENI project saying,  “This project will not only help vulnerable communities prepare for the next drought, it will also build on existing efforts by the government of RMI, to build awareness and influence behaviours around the linkage between healthy lifestyles and the reduction of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure”.

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Marshall Islands