Climate Change: W/Bank Plans $5bn Investment In Africa
The World Bank plans to invest over $5bn over the next five years to help restore degraded landscapes, improve agriculture productivity, and promote livelihoods across 11 African countries on a swathe of land stretching from Senegal to Djibouti.
World Bank Group President, David Malpass, announced the investment at the One Planet Summit, a high-level meeting co-hosted with France and the United Nations that is focused on addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.
It disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled ‘World Bank plans to invest over $5bn in drylands in Africa’.
“This investment, which comes at a crucial time, will help improve livelihoods as countries recover from COVID-19 while also dealing with the impact of both biodiversity loss and climate change on their people and economies,” said Malpass.
The more than $5bn in financing will support agriculture, biodiversity, community development, food security, landscape restoration, job creation, resilient infrastructure, rural mobility, and access to renewable energy across 11 countries of the Sahel, Lake Chad and Horn of Africa.
Many of these efforts are in line with the Great Green Wall initiative.
This builds on World Bank landscape investments in these countries over the past eight years that reached more than 19 million people and placed 1.6 million hectares under sustainable land management.
“Restoring natural ecosystems in the drylands of Africa benefits both people and the planet,” said Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Working with many partners, PROGREEN, a World Bank global fund dedicated to boosting countries’ efforts to address landscape degradation, would also invest $14.5m in five Sahelian countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania.
African Development Bank also stated that while addressing the summit virtually from Abidjan, its President, Akinwumi Adesina, stated, “As we rebuild from the coronavirus and its impacts on our world, we must recalibrate growth.
“We must prioritise growth that protects the environment and biodiversity, and we must de-prioritise growth that compromises our common goals.”
Adesina informed delegates that, “The Great Green Wall is part of Africa’s environmental defence system—A shield against the onslaughts of desertification and degradation.
“The future of the Sahel region depends on the Great Green Wall. Without the Great Green Wall, the Sahel region as we know it may disappear.”
In a major announcement, French President, Emmanuel Macron, named President Adesina a Great Green Wall Champion.
Adesina was recognised for his personal commitment to addressing climate change in Africa.
The position would see the him play a significant role in mobilising political and economic support for the initiative.