World Bank approves US$246 mln for marine protection in 3 West African countries

The World Bank Group approved a US$246 million financing package to protect the coastline in Ghana, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, the group told media Friday.

In a release, the group said the grant was for the second West Africa Coastal Areas (WACA) Resilience Investment Project, which aims to eliminate the risks of coastal erosion, flooding and pollution for people depending on agro-industry and tourism along the coastlines in the beneficiary countries.

“The second WACA project is an expansion of the WACA program that already included Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, and Togo,” it said.

The development challenges in coastal West Africa were complex and multisectoral in nature, the group said. “And no country alone can fix them. That is why the WACA program by design includes regional integration and solutions.”

“Solutions are bound to be regional to achieve sustainable results. We are pleased to see increased cooperation and dialogue around the WACA program. By working together with the countries, institutions involved will bring adequate responses and economies of scale at the regional level,” said Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank director for regional integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa.