The International Development Association has approved a $700 million credit from the World Bank for the Nigeria Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes Project.

Mansir Nasir, the bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer for Nigeria, made the announcement on Thursday.

“The project will increase the use of sustainable landscape management practices in northern Nigeria and strengthen the country’s long-term enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management,” according to the statement.

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Despite efforts by the Federal Government to combat desertification, the productivity of major crops in Nigeria has been steadily declining over the past two decades, partly due to climate change.

“Nigeria is faced with water scarcity and droughts, which occur every five years on average, with the potential to increase in frequency due to climate change,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. This scenario not only jeopardizes food security, livelihoods, and productivity, but it also increases fragility and the risk of violence.

“This intervention will improve multi-sectoral watershed planning and investments to help about 3.4 million direct beneficiaries adapt to evolving dryland conditions,” says the report.

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The ACReSAL Project is a six-year strategic project that prioritizes dryland management, community climate resilience, institutional strengthening and project management, and contingent emergency response, according to the statement.

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