President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and other partners to activate the $19 billion pledged for the activities of the Pan African Great Green Wall Agency (PAGGW).
The activities include land restoration, tree planting, development of climate resilience infrastructure and investments in small and medium-sized farms.
Buhari, who stated this on Monday in Abidjan, at the ongoing UN Conference of Parties (COP15), said the funds would support smallholder farmers and create an institutional framework to enhance security, stability and governance, and encourage capacity building.
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, the Nigerian President said the drying up of Lake Chad had destroyed fish farming, animal husbandry and crop agriculture, leading to social and economic dislocation with serious consequences for peace in the basin area.
The statement read, “This bloc, which includes Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Mali, Eritrea, Djibouti, Burkina Faso and Chad is facing dire and present danger due to the devastating effect of desertification and drought which is impacting negatively on the security of our communities and the livelihood of our people.
There is therefore an urgent need to confront these challenges associated with desert encroachment and drought.
“The purpose of this meeting, therefore, is to draw your attention to this pledge and to inform you formally, that member states want to trigger the process for accessing the funding by utilising the GGW Accelerator window mainly to address the following: Land restoration & tree planting, investment in small and medium-sized farms/support to smallholder farmers, develop climate resilience infrastructure, institutional framework to enhance security, stability and governance, and Capacity Building.
“I, therefore, call on you especially the World Bank, African Development Bank and the One Planet Summit Initiative to support this drive.’’