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April 17, 2024

AfDB Approves $50m Loan to Support Climate Resilience, Food Security in Yobe 

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB)’s Board of Directors has approved a $50 million loan for the Yobe State Environmental and Climate Change Action Project (ECCAP) and food security agenda. 

This loan aims to strengthen climate resilience, enhance food security, and improve livelihoods for over 3.5 million people in northeast Nigeria.

In a released statement, the multilateral institution highlighted that the project’s total cost is estimated at $101.34 million. AfDB’s contribution includes a $50 million loan, with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) set to provide $30 million in co-financing.

During the approval process, AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina emphasized that the project would address various challenges, including insecurity, climate risks, food scarcity, and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods.

“This is a very practical and detailed project that tackles insecurity, vulnerability more generally, food security, and the restoration of degraded environments. It’s all about building resilient livelihoods. This project exemplifies how we can achieve this in an integrated way,” he added.

The Director General of the Bank’s Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barrow, said: “With key interventions in afforestation and reforestation contributing to carbon sequestration, this green project will help reduce vulnerability to climate shocks, build resilience for the target population, and boost Nigeria’s efforts to meet its African Forestry Landscape Restoration Initiative goal of restoring 4 million hectares of land degraded by climate change. This contributes to regional and global public good, as well as Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 15.”

For his part, the Director of the Bank’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, Martin Fregene, said: “The ECCAP project is not just a typical livelihood support project; it seeks to bridge a gap to ensure sustainability in livelihood enhancement projects.

“The project will improve the state’s vegetative cover by establishing over 20 million trees across 120,000 hectares. It will also train selected youth and women to set up 3,560 new micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that will process and market new products using raw materials from trees, such as neem oil. Additionally, it will introduce improved clean cooking stoves and clean cooking technologies to 10% of the population.”

The statement also highlighted that the Yobe State government would contribute $4.52 million in counterpart funding, while project beneficiaries would contribute $16.82 million.

In past decades, prolonged inter-communal conflicts, particularly between herders and farmers, along with armed insurgencies, have worsened Yobe’s already fragile environmental conditions, leading to a rapid economic decline.

With 72% of its population living below the poverty line, Yobe has been identified as the most climate-vulnerable state in Nigeria.

ECCAP aims to support both the federal and state governments in addressing challenges like droughts and desertification. It also seeks to empower women through initiatives such as providing small livestock, distributing cooking stoves, and fostering the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

The statement added that the project would also support the development of Yobe State’s Gender Policy.

“The implementation of a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme will incentivize the population to maintain two million regenerated trees on farms and support payments for labor and related services to plant and maintain 20 million drought-resistant trees.

“This project complements the AfDB’s and other development partners’ ongoing and planned projects to address climate change and promote livelihood improvements in Yobe State.”

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