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06:45, 29 May 2017 Monday
Update: 04:07, 14 February 2017 Tuesday

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Kenya to get $250M to fund climate-smart agriculture
Kenya to get $250M to fund climate-smart agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture aims to transform agricultural systems to ensure food security in a changing climate

World Bulletin / News Desk

The World Bank Monday approved $250 million for a “climate-smart agriculture” project to boost agricultural productivity and build resilience to climate change in poor farming and pastoral communities in Kenya.

In a statement, the World Bank said the money can also be used in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide an immediate and effective response.

“Despite an apparent decline in poverty overall (in Kenya), reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity remain formidable challenges, particularly for rural people,” said the bank.

“Western and coastal areas benefit from better natural resource endowments, but the poor remain prone to insect- and water-borne disease, and agricultural potential in some areas is limited by flood-induced land degradation,” the statement added.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization defines climate smart agriculture “as an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate."

The World Bank says that climate-smart agriculture is important in Kenya, especially since only 17 percent of the land, home to 80 percent of the population, has medium to high rainfall which is suitable for crop production.

The project will be implemented over five years, with an estimated cost of $279.7 million, of which the International Development Association (IDA) will finance $250 million, Kenya $15.9 million, and county governments $8.3 million.

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Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution
Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.