World Bank approves $346m for projects in Nigeria, others

Peace Kanu, Abuja

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As part of efforts to strengthen resilience and livelihoods in the Lake Chad region, the World Bank has approved $346 million for two projects covering Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.

According to a statement from the World Bank, the projects, which are to be financed through the International Development Association (IDA), would focus on enhancing regional collaboration among the four countries to support communities close to the shore of Lake Chad areas

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

“The first project, the Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project (PROLAC, $170 million), will 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), will help the Government of Nigeria 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,” the World Bank stated.

According to Ms Wetzel, 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.

Peace PIAK