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World Bank Approves $US44.52 Million to Support Niger’s Efforts to Build Participation in Local Governance and Improve Natural Resource Management

May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2013 - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved US$44.52 million to support the Government of Niger’s efforts to strengthen local governance capacities in urban and rural communities, including the capacity to respond promptly to natural disasters, and to promote sustainable land and natural resources management throughout the country.

“Niger’s economy has been buffeted by flooding, drought and fluctuating terms of trade, all which severely affect human development and cause chronic food insecurity,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Chad, Guinea, Mali and Niger. “With a focus on local governance, these funds will contribute to the achievement of Niger’s key development objectives of reducing poverty by improving food security, increasing and diversifying food production, and raising the income of rural producers.”

The new financing package consists of a $US40 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA)*, and a $US4.52 million grant from the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund.

Today’s funds will support the Third Community Action Program Support Project, (or the third phase of the Adaptable Program Loan initiated in 2004). This third phase of the project is aimed at empowering local governments and community organizations to better participate in local development planning, access investment facilities to better manage their natural resource base, diversify incomes, and improve access to socio – economic services such as investments to support agriculture and livestock activities, improve sustainable land management (SLM), health and nutrition centers, and water supply systems.

“As much as 84% of Niger’s population depends on natural resources that are highly vulnerable to climate factors,” said Jamal Saghir, the World Bank's Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region.

“The project’s promotion of low carbon technologies such as cook stoves, and climate smart agriculture will reduce pressure on forest and woodlands, trim greenhouse gas emissions, and improve indoor air pollution for Niger’s urban and rural residents.”

The GEF funds will help finance projects that address sustainable management of land, forest ecosystem services in drylands, and promote the adoption of climate smart technologies and agriculture.

“Poor households in Niger, particularly female-headed households, are more exposed to natural disasters and changes in the international economy, and often resort to selling seed stocks or productive livestock to buy food,” said Amadou Alassane, World Bank Task Team Leader. “I am happy to support this project’s focus on improving food security, diversifying income opportunities, and improving individual livelihoods.”

 

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/416/AFR