The World Bank today flagged off a workshop on its Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) in Abuja.
The workshop was organised as part of the bank’s efforts to create understanding of the environmental and social requirements it would be applying to new projects it will be financing in the country effective from October this year.
The bank’s Country Office in Nigeria stated that the workshop consisted of a half-day presentation to senior government officials; a two-day technical training for project implementation staff; and half day awareness session with other stakeholders, including civil society and development partners.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, was quoted as saying that: “Time and again, we have seen that investment projects are more sustainable and have a greater development impact when the environment is protected, and when communities and people are engaged.
“The ESF is a great opportunity to work together with the Nigerian government to strengthen its environmental and social systems, and help build the country’s capacity to implement programs in a sustainable way and to achieve stronger results,” he added.
The Bank stated further that the ESF was the result of extensive consultations conducted by the World Bank, with nearly four years of analysis and engagement around the world with governments, development practitioners, and civil society groups, reaching nearly 8,000 stakeholders in 63 countries.
According to the bank, the new framework provides a broad coverage of environmental and social issues, including important advances on transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation, and accountability.
According to the multilateral institution, the ESF also places more emphasis on strengthening Borrower governments’ own capacity to deal with environmental and social issues, adding that it also aims to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from the potential adverse impacts of the projects it finances.
The bank stated that the framework, which will progressively replace its current Safeguards policies, would also assist borrowing governments to manage certain environmental and social risks in investment projects proposed for the Bank’s financing support.