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GEF Approves USD 20.5 million Grant for Lake Chad Basin Regional Program
At its 41st Council Meeting held in Washington, D.C. on 9 and10 November 2011, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved a grant of USD 20.5 million for the Lake Chad Basin Regional Program for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Efficiency.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), which plans to contribute USD 146 million from its own resources to the program, has worked closely with the five implementing countries (Central African Republic, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria and Chad) on the program design. It calls for conserving the water and agro-sylvo ecosystems of the Lake Chad Basin and ensuring sustainable use of resources while meeting the needs of energy efficiency and food security.
The program comprises six projects: one per country and one for the LCBC (Lake Chad Basin Commission) to oversee regional coordination. The AfDB will continue to provide technical assistance as projects are prepared over the next 18 months. Expected outcomes include:
- Increased efficiency in approaches and tools related to natural resources and energy consumption
- Improved sustainability of productive landscapes
- Increased capacity and knowledge concerning integrated water resource management and water use efficiency
- Strengthened water and ecosystems management and riparian collaboration
The Lake Chad Basin is one of three priorities on the Africa agenda as indicated by the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, during his closing remarks on behalf of the Africa Group at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010. This program expands considerably AfDB’s GEF portfolio and marks the first time the AfDB has supported a multi-dimensional program (as opposed to single projects) under GEF co-financing.