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World Bank approves $346 Million to Strengthen Resilience and Livelihoods in the Lake Chad Region

.....As Nigeria receives $176 million to  crisis recovery project

The World Bank has announced its approval of $346 million in International Development Association (IDA) financing to strengthen resilience and livelihoods in the Lake Chad region, which is shared among Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

The world bank in a statement on Wednesday noted that the Lake Chad region over the years have suffered from poor development and economic indicators such as significant gaps in infrastructure, poor access to basic services, as well as effects of climate change on natural resources and livelihoods.

“The poor state of the region is exacerbated by insecurity prevailing since 2009 due to insurgent activities that prevents more than 49 million people from attaining their livelihoods in fishing, livestock farming and agriculture.

The total sum according to the statement will aid the execution of two developmental projects aimed at enhancing collaboration among the four countries to support communities close to the shore of Lake Chad areas and to improve the living conditions of the population, including vulnerable women and youth who face the negative impacts of climate change and suffer from insecurity.

The first project, which is the Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project (PROLAC, $170 million), aims to support national and regional coordination platforms and local capacity building, contribute to restore sustainable rural mobility and connectivity and strengthen the recovery of agricultural livelihoods in selected provinces of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

“It will also promote knowledge sharing and regional dialogue with a data platform hosted at the Lake Chad Basin Commission, while strengthening community empowerment through citizen engagement, social cohesion activities and labor-intensive public works”.

“PROLAC will contribute to the rehabilitation of rural roads and small transport infrastructure, and will promote productive investments by helping agricultural producers to increase productivity in the polder areas in Chad, the farming of oasis areas in Niger, and in the areas close to the shore of the Lake Chad in the Far North of Cameroon”.

The second project, the Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project for North Eastern Nigeria, Additional Financing (MCRP AF, $176 million), aims at supporting the Nigeria government to improve access to basic services and livelihood opportunities for crisis-affected communities in the North Eastern States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, while enhancing coordination among these States and other Lake Chad countries.

“It expands the ongoing $200 million MCRP project and puts an increased emphasis on support for agricultural livelihoods and investments”.

“In addition, the MCRP AF will include support for labor-intensive approaches and works programs, promote rural and regional connectivity, rehabilitate market infrastructure and prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation”.

As contained in the statement, the project will also expand its education and health activities to deepen service delivery by providing grants to school committees and incentives to returning teachers, and by promoting quality of primary health care services in targeted public health centers and district hospitals.

Deborah Wetzel, World Bank Director of Regional Integration for Africa said “the Lake Chad region remains a priority area of engagement given the common nature of the challenges faced by the sub-region and the huge potential for regional cooperation”.

“The framework being created by both PROLAC and the MCRP AF will lay the foundation for future regional and coordinated investments that will improve access to regional markets, promote value-chains development and revive cross-border and regional trade”.

“Both PROLAC and the MCRP are well aligned with existing regional and national strategies, such as the World Bank’s Regional Integration and Cooperation Assistance Strategy which promotes collective actions to address the risks of regional economic contagion, fragility, epidemic and climate hot spots; the World Bank’s Strategy for Fragility, Conflict and Violence and the Country Partnership Frameworks for Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and the Country Partnership Strategy for Nigeria.

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