World Bulletin / News Desk
On the eve of the historic visit of a joint UN and World Bank (WB) mission to Sahel region in Africa, the World Bank Group pledged 1.5 billion in new regional investments over the next two years while European Union promised 6.75 billion to six countries in the region over the next seven years.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and WB President Jim Yong Kim, will visit Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad this week. They will be joined by Andris Piebalgs, European Union Commissioner for Development, African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka.
In a written statement dispatched to journalists by UN Monday morning in New York it has been said the World Bank Group’s pledges will support social safety nets to help cope with the worst effects of economic adversity and natural disasters, improve infrastructure and “create opportunities in rural areas.”
The World Bank Group’s funding in the region already worth several billion dollars, will create more hydropower and other sources of clean energy to greatly expand irrigation and transform agriculture; protect and expand pastoralism for more than 80 million people living in the Sahel region and also to improve regional connectivity between countries.
It also includes $300 million from the IFC, the Bank Group’s private sector arm, which will support economic development in several countries in the Sahel.
In addition, the Bank Group’s MIGA, which provides political risk insurance, will provide 585 million dollars in guarantees over the next year for a gas project in Mauritania that exports power to Senegal and Mali.
In the same time the European Union intend to support Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad if that will be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council. For the period of next seven years EU will aim to help Sahel region’s security and stability, development and resilience issues, including governance, rule of law, delivery of social services, agriculture and food security. The issues of regional trade and integration will be at the heart of the development programs over 2014-2020.
“The challenges in the Sahel respect no borders – neither should our solutions," Ban Ki-moon said last week. But the UN chief stressed that “cycle of crises can be broken” so that “Sahel move from fragility to sustainability.”
Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2013, 10:49