WASHINGTON, December 20, 2011 – The World Bank’s Executive Board today approved a grant for Togo totaling US$16.9 million (approximately CFAF 8 billion) to assist with implementation of the Integrated Disaster and Land Management Project [Projet de Gestion Intégrée des Catastrophes et des Terres PGICT]. The new project is funded by several trust funds, among them the Global Environment Facility (US$5.4 million), the Least Developed Countries Fund for Adaptation to Climate Change (US$3.7 million), the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (US$7.2 million), and TerrAfrica (US$500,000).
The Integrated Disaster and Land Management Project seeks mainly to strengthen the institutional capacity of targeted institutions to manage the risks of flooding and land degradation in rural and urban areas that are most vulnerable to these twin phenomena in Togo. The project will be implemented through the following main components:
· Institutional Strengthening and Awareness Raising (US$3.2 million). The resources allocated under this component will be used to strengthen the capacity of the main national, regional, local, and community entities through the provision of equipment and training. They will also be used to raise the awareness of the beneficiary populations regarding the risks associated with flooding and land degradation, through national and local information and communication campaigns.
· Community-based Activities for Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management (US$6.8 million). The PGICT will support community activities in river basins and flood-prone areas with the aim of strengthening resilience to flooding and enabling beneficiary communities to better manage the resulting risks. The PGICT will also support best practices designed to make agriculture more resilient to climate change and foster land productivity and efficient water use. The communities will also receive assistance with the preparation of long-term financing plans and the implementation of income-generating activities in the vicinity of protected areas so as to reduce pressure on forest resources and restore ecological services.
· Early Warning, Monitoring, and Knowledge Systems (US$5.8 million). The project will support the preparation of a nation-wide early warning system to inform communities of possible flooding so that they can take appropriate measures to save lives and protect property. A country-owned climate and land monitoring system will be developed to monitor vegetation cover and land use and to provide carbon sequestration estimates in project areas. This component is also expected to include a national cartography update and targeted risk assessments to identify (i) appropriate investments that will help with disaster migration, and (ii) risk transfer mechanisms.
Recurring flooding in Togo in recent years has been particularly devastating, resulting in the loss of human life, infrastructure destruction, and damage to the Togolese economy. The PGICT will help offer solutions to address these impacts, as confirmed by Madani M. Tall, World Bank Country Director for Togo, when he stated: “Disasters can constrain development and economic growth and are thus directly linked to poverty. The new project just approved by our Executive Board therefore represents a first step toward assisting the Government of Togo with the restoration and preservation of nature and the environment, so as to maintain soil fertility and mitigate the effects of such natural disasters as floods and droughts.”
The Integrated Disaster and Land Management Project fits perfectly into the Togolese Government’s poverty reduction strategy. It is also in line with the World Bank’s Interim Strategy Note for Togo and the World Bank’s Strategy for Africa that targets, inter alia, strengthening countries’ resistance to shocks, including natural disasters.
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