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World Bank approves $200m grant to Nigeria

The World Bank’s Board has on Tuesday approved a $200 million credit to support the Nigerian Government’s response to the humanitarian and forced-displacement crisis caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East of the country.The project will provide multi-sectoral crisis recovery in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, including service delivery restoration and infrastructure rehabilitation in health, education, transport, water, and sanitation sectors.

Nigeria’s Punch newspaper report on Wednesday said that the bank’s Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoud, said that the “communities affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the region are experiencing a particularly wide range of profound challenges. Their vulnerability is multidimensional, including severe damage to their social fabric, the extensive destruction of property and infrastructure, and significant basic survival and socio-economic needs that remain largely unmet.”

He added that responses should be multi-sectoral, offering avenues to self-reliance and following international standards on safe and voluntary return or reintegration.

The report quoted a statement issued on Tuesday by the World Bank’s spokesperson, Olufunke Olufon, as saying that the insurgency had led to the loss of more than 20,000 lives, the displacement of two million people, and had negatively affected the livelihoods of six million more people.

It noted that the Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project, approved by the Board, forms a key part of the World Bank’s support to Nigeria towards the implementation of the Buhari Plan and the Recovery and Peace Building Assessment, prepared by the Federal Government over 2016, with support from the bank, EU, UNDP, DFID and other development partners.

“The project will contribute to resolve constraints to restoring livelihoods and access to food, including road rehabilitation, technical assistance and program management support and will positively impact over 150,000 people including forcibly displaced populations, host communities and other conflict-affected communities in the states,” the statement said.

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