You are here: HomeBusiness2022 08 30Article 583973

Business News of Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Source: thenationonlineng.net

World Bank excludes Nigeria from $315m food security cash

Nigeria is missing from the list of beneficiary countries for the $315 million World Bank fund for African countries to support food security.

The second phase of the West Africa regional Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP-2) approved yesterday in International Development Association (IDA) financing will benefit an additional two million Africans- from Chad, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Nigeria was not included in the new financing plan that will help to increase the effectiveness of agriculture and food crises prevention and management and strengthen the capacities to adapt to climate variability and change.

The financing plan is also expected to strengthen the adaptive capacity of the food system’s productive base and make it sustainable, and support the regional food market’s integration by linking the beneficiary countries, consolidating their food reserve systems, and strengthening the development of strategic regional value chains.

Nigeria was also not part of the first phase of the programme, FSRP-1, $330 million approved in November 2021 launched in June 2022, bringing together four countries-Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo.

Annual commitments by International Development Association (IDA) have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 per cent going to Africa.

The World Bank explained that the FSRP-2 will support the beneficiary countries to increase their preparedness against food insecurity and improve the resilience of their food systems.

This comes at a moment when it is projected that approximately 38.3 million people in West Africa are projected to be in food security crisis.

Across the targeted areas in the three countries, FSRP-2 will help to reduce food insecure people by 25 per cent.

Access to hydro and agrometeorological advisory services will be extended to over 400,000 food system actors, while nearly 500,000 producers are expected to adopt climate-smart agricultural technologies.

The World Bank said about 12,000 hectares of land area will benefit from integrated landscape management practices, and intra-regional traded productions in selected value chains will increase by 30 per cent.

“Multiple shocks, driven by climate change and environmental degradation, weaknesses of the food markets, conflicts and insecurity, Covid-19 implications, and the war in Ukraine have further deteriorated food insecurity and inflation across West Africa”, declares Ms. Massandjé Toure-Litse, the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

World Bank’s Vice-President for Western and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, said: “FSRP-2 further expands cooperation across the ECOWAS region to ensure food security, now and into the future. Facilitating the trade of agricultural goods and inputs within and across national borders in West Africa is a key element to address food insecurity in the region”.

World Bank’s Director for Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Northern Africa, Boutheina Guermazi, said the approval of FSRP-2 and incorporation of Chad, Ghana and Sierra Leone expands impacts not just of national activities, but of targeted spill-over effects from regional activities. “We are eager for this innovative program to maximize its reach across West Africa,” he said.