The World Bank Group on Thursday unveiled plans to invest over $5 billion over the next five years to help restore degraded landscapes, improve agricultural productivity and promote livelihoods in 11 African countries of the Sahel, Lake Chad and Horn of Africa.
The Breton Woods institution President, David Malpass, gave this hint at the One Planet Summit, a high-level meeting co-hosted with France and the United Nations, which is focused on addressing climate change and biodiversity losses globally.
According to him, the 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.”
The more than $5 billion 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.
Malpass noted that many of these efforts were in line with the multilateral finance institution’s Great Green Wall initiative and consolidate on World Bank landscape investments in these countries over the past eight years during which more than 19 million people had been reached and 1.6 million hectares placed under sustainable land management.
Commenting on the funding support, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said “restoring natural ecosystems in the drylands of Africa benefits both people and the planet.”
In addition, PROGREEN, a World Bank global fund dedicated to boosting countries’ efforts to address landscape degradation, while collaborating with many partners, , will also invest $14.5 million in five Sahelian countries namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania.
It would be recalled that the World Bank Group, had in December 2020 announced an ambitious target for 35% of its financing to have climate co-benefits, on average, over the next five years.