Millions of poor farmers living in the world’s most climate-impacted parts of the Sahel have cause for hope because of their governments’ support for accelerating Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW), an area covering 11 countries from Senegal and Mali in the West to Ethiopia and Djibouti in the East.
A new investment programme is planned to support Sahelian governments through a partnership between the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in order to boost climate finance for these rural populations.
At the request of Sahelian Ministers in September 2020, IFAD and other GCF accredited entities will submit projects for funding consideration by the GCF’s Board, under this new Great Green Wall Umbrella Programme (GGW Up).
According to a statement, IFAD will lead the set-up of the programme and ensure its coordination with other partners. Project activities will aim to restore ecosystems and tackle the interlinked issues of climate change, job creation, poverty alleviation, food security and peace building.
The Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, Yannick Glemarec, pointed out that, “GCF is committed to scaling up the efforts of Sahelian countries to establish and develop the Great Green Wall, combating the effects of drought, deforestation and climate change. With an expanded focus on strengthening sustainable agricultural value chains across the region and increased private sector investment in decentralised renewable energies, this innovative programme will boost climate adaptation and resilience of millions of people, as well as supporting local ecosystems and biodiversity.”
“IFAD is determined to help rural populations in the Sahel build dignified lives. Stronger resilience to climate change, more biodiversity, greener pastoral and arable land means better food security, higher incomes, less migration and more stability,” President of IFAD, the UN agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty and hunger, Gilbert Houngbo said.