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PRESS RELEASE

Burkina Faso to Boost Capacity Building for Rural Development and Sustainable Land and Forestry Management

December 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, December 20, 2012 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$93.41 million to support the government of Burkina Faso’s rural development and sustainable land and forestry management programs.

The financing package includes a US$70 million grant from the International Development Association, (IDA)*, the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, and a fully blended grant of US$7.41 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund. The Government will provide US$8 million and beneficiaries will invest another US$8 million.

The funds will provide training and technical assistance to local governments for creating and managing development plans, and for implementing the recently- enacted rural land tenure reform law.

Today’s funds provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) are intended to fortify progress made under the Government’s Community Based Rural Development Program, which places local communities at the center of development planning and implementation.

“Strengthening the hands of rural communities as they take actions to protect the resource base while increasing incomes and food production is vital” said Madani M. Tall, World Bank Country Director for Burkina Faso. “The funds provided will benefit 13 regional communities, reaching over 302 rural communes and encourage participatory local development for the benefit of all segments of Burkinabe society.”

The grants will also encourage environmentally sustainable agriculture practices in the PONASI ecological complex (covering protected areas of Po, Nazinga and Sissili) and support local and regional micro-projects such as drinking water wells, schools, health centers, and other infrastructure.

“Burkina Faso’s natural resources are being degraded primarily by deforestation, expansion of agricultural land, and grazing, and all of these are being amplified by climate change,” said Ian Bannon, Acting World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region. “By supporting local communities, these funds will help to spur economic growth and poverty reduction through sustainable food production, sustainable access to drinking water, and protection of vegetation cover.”

“Significant flooding followed by localized drought in recent years has negatively affected the agricultural harvest, leaving people with little affordable food to eat,” said World Bank Task Team Leader Emmanuel Y. Nikiema. “The funds approved today will provide new farming technologies to increase crop productivity, which will in turn improve food security and nutrition and generate income for the poorest in the country.”

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/210/AFR