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World Bank approves $700m climate project for Nigeria

By News Desk

The World Bank has approved $700m credit from the International Development Association for the Nigeria Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes Project aimed at protecting the climate and Nigerian environment.

The world lender explained that the project would increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in northern Nigeria and strengthen the country’s long-term enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, noted that the amount have been approved to ensure the project take off at the right and achieve it through judicious use by stakeholders and effective monitoring from the the lender.

Chaudhuri, through a statement on Thursday by the bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer for Nigeria, Mansir Nasir, noted that the approval was also in line with the bank’s commitment to support major crops production across Nigeria.

According to him, the productivity of major crops in Nigeria has been steadily declining over the past two decades, partly due to climate change, despite efforts by the federal government of Nigeria to combat desertification.

“Nigeria is faced with water scarcity and droughts which occur every five years, on average, with the potential to increase in frequency due to climate change. This scenario not only threatens food security, livelihoods, and productivity but also exacerbates fragility and increases the risk of violence.

“With communities and households that are most dependent on natural resources for their survival and vulnerable to desertification, this intervention will improve multi-sectoral watershed planning and investments to help about 3.4 million direct beneficiaries adapt to evolving dryland conditions.”

As stated, the ACReSAL Project is a 6-year strategic project prioritizing actions within dryland management, community climate resilience, institutional strengthening and project management, and contingent emergency response. Also, the project is designed to enhance the capacity of the country to adapt to a changing climate.

On her part, the World Bank’s ACReSAL Task Team Leader, Joy Agene, said that the project would specifically target the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women, youth, the elderly.

Others she said, were persons with disabilities, internally displaced people, and ethnic and religious minorities using an integrated watershed approach across sectors and levels of governance.

“This will help reduce the vulnerability of millions of the extreme poor in northern Nigeria, strengthening their own role in the management of their natural resources while also addressing land degradation, strengthening climate resilience, and lessening livelihood vulnerability in dry, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid regions in the northern states.”

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