Pastoralist communities have long adopted a wide range of cross-border activities to protect their livelihoods and livestock production systems to cope with the recurrent climatic variation typical of rangeland environments. However, there remains limited understanding of the nature, magnitude and value of cross-border livelihood activities in the Horn of Africa. There is a general lack of attention and support to cross-border activities from national and international agencies and little recognition among national decision-makers of their important contribution to regional, national and local economies and food security in the region.
This HPG Policy Brief argues that harnessing the largely unexplored potential of cross-border activities for the lives and livelihoods of pastoralist communities in the Horn of Africa calls for a deeper understanding of the wide range of activities, risks and vulnerabilities that span international borders. There is also a need to recognise that a timely, adequate and comprehensive response to drought must also focus on border areas and support cross-border activities.