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COP15: Fulfil $19bn pledge to reduce migration to Europe, Buhari tells development partners

COP15: Fulfil $19bn pledge to reduce migration to Europe, Buhari tells development partners
May 10
12:39 2022

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and other international development partners to activate the $19 billion pledge under the One Planet Summit initiative. 

The One Planet Summit is a United Nations (UN) initiative that aims to advance the protection of nature, biodiversity and the health of humans.

Speaking at a side event at the ongoing UN Conference Of Parties (COP15) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Buhari said the pledge will help restore the socio-economy of places like Lake Chad and reduce the migration of people to Europe from the area.

He added that it would also support the activities of the Pan African Great Green Wall Agency (PAGGW) and be utilised for land restoration, tree planting and development of climate resilience infrastructure.

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“The inter basin transfer of water from Central Africa to Lake Chad should be taken seriously,” he said.

“As it is at the moment, the drying up of the Lake Chad has destroyed fish farming, animal husbandry and crop agriculture, leading to social and economic dislocation with serious consequences for peace in the basin area.

“This has led to migration to Europe by many, creating problems for you over there. These should engage your attention as a committee

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“All of you may wish to know that, in December 2021, I was elected to lead and drive the Agenda of the PAGGW bloc for the next two years.

“This bloc, which includes Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Mali, Eritrea, Djibouti, Burkina Faso and Chad, is facing dire and present danger due to the devastating effect of desertification and drought which is impacting negatively on the security of our communities and the livelihood of our people.

“There is therefore an urgent need to confront these challenges associated with desert encroachment and drought,

“It is on this note that on behalf of member states, I welcome The One Planet Summit Initiative that pledges US$19 Billion to support the activities of the PAGGW which necessitated this very important engagement with you this morning.

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“The purpose of this meeting therefore is to draw your attention to this pledge and to inform you formally, that member states want to trigger the process for accessing the funding by utilizing the GGW Accelerator window mainly to address the following:

“Land restoration and tree planting, Investment in small and medium sized farms/support to smallholder farmers, develop climate resilience infrastructure, Institutional framework to enhance security, stability and governance, and capacity building.

“I therefore call on you, especially the World Bank, African Development Bank and the One Planet Summit Initiative to support this drive.”

Amina Mohammed, UN deputy secretary general, said the donors under the One Planet Summit need to set up a “pipeline that will ensure that across the countries we are speaking to today, these efforts are made to come to realization sooner than later’’.

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Ibrahim Thiaw, executive secretary of the UNCCD, said the meeting is “a great inspiration”, adding that he hopes the $19 billion pledged at the 2021 One Planet Summit in Paris would “turn the dollars into hectares”.

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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