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PRESS RELEASE December 15, 2020

The World Bank Boosts Support to the Sahel for a Resilient Recovery from the Security and Economic Crisis

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2020 – The World Bank today approved three projects to support the economic recovery and improve access to and the quality of basic social services in Burkina Faso and Chad. These projects will help both countries respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the humanitarian crisis. The World Bank also confirmed Burkina Faso’s eligibility for the Prevention and Resilience Allocation.

As part of a dynamic partnership, the World Bank Group is committed to stepping up its support to the Sahel by providing financing for key programs that are critical to an inclusive and harmonious development in the Sahel,” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa. “Our new strategy for the Sahel includes national and regional projects and technical assistance initiatives designed to improve people’s living conditions and create an effective ecosystem that is crucial for shoring up security and stability in the region.

The World Bank is deeply engaged in the Sahel region and has made it a priority for the International Development Association (IDA)—the World Bank’s fund for the poorest—with the adoption of an integrated approach under the Sahel Alliance. The joint goal is to strengthen and coordinate the development and stabilization efforts of the G5 Sahel countries and support this work by providing $8.5 billion in IDA financing, a record increase in resources made available to this region, in alignment with its institutional strategy for Fragility, Conflict and Violence.

The COVID-19 crisis, coupled with the impact of the conflicts and violence, the effects of climate change, and the myriad vulnerabilities in the region, is expected to push almost 1.3 million more Sahelian people into extreme poverty this year,” noted Soukeyna Kane, World Bank Country Director for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger. To deal with these major challenges, we recently approved an initial support program designed to provide better public services to the affected populations in Burkina Faso and Chad. We are adapting our engagement to a complex, ever-changing situation so as to more effectively support the governments’ prevention, resilience, and emergency response plans.”

The support program that was approved today includes the following:

For Burkina Faso

  • A Prevention and Resilience Allocation (PRA) in the amount of $700 million (a $350 million IDA grant and a $350 million IDA credit) over the next three years to support the country’s initiatives to mitigate risks and address the escalation of violence. Access to the PRA will support Burkina Faso’s strategy to prevent the escalation in violence by scaling up World Bank interventions for vulnerable persons and regions in conflict and under pressure, and by addressing the root causes of conflicts.
  • An emergency budget support operation totaling $100 million (a $50 million IDA grant and a $50 million IDA credit). This operation will support the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic against the backdrop of the dual security and humanitarian crises. This financing will, for example, help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the lives and livelihoods of the Burkinabe people and lay the foundation for a resilient economic recovery through the adoption of a national e-voucher system for farmers, better public services, increased access to financing for small and medium enterprises, an improved epidemic surveillance system, and better targeting of social assistance program beneficiaries.
  • The Emergency Territorial Development and Resilience Project (Projet d’urgence de développement territorial et de résilience) in the amount of $350 million (a $175 million grant and a $175 million credit). This project will improve access to infrastructure and social services by communities, including internally displaced persons, in a number of conflict and risk areas.  This project is ultimately expected to boost resources for close to 325,000 women, 30% of whom are internally displaced, and 650,000 individuals will benefit from improved social services.

The Rural Mobility and Connectivity Project for Chad is receiving $15 million in additional financing to improve access to markets and basic social services for rural populations. The project also seeks to provide an immediate and effective response in the event of a crisis or an emergency. This additional financing for the project is expected to benefit around 365,000 persons in the Mandoul and Moyen-Chari provinces, through the rehabilitation of approximately 400 km of roads and tracks.

The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. It is supporting public health interventions, working to ensure the flow of critical supplies and equipment, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. The World Bank Group is making available up to $160 billion over a 15-month period ending June 2021 to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. This includes $50 billion of new IDA resources through grants and highly concessional loans and $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.