The African Development Bank is planning to deploy $1.1 bn following board approval to fight drought and famine in some African countries, the bank said in a statement on Saturday.
The bank issued the statement to commemorate the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought which was observed on June 17, aiming to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.
The day is used to remind stakeholders that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and cooperation at all levels.
The statement, signed by Emeka Anuforo, said the socio-economic impact of displacement and forced migration due to drought and environmental pressures were significant.
"Refugee and displaced populations pose significant pressure on weak local and national institutions and strain national and local governments and host communities.
"Forest reserves are diminishing due to use of wood for heating and cooking in poor households resulting in soil erosion; and damages to grazing habitat for livestock is on the increase. In addition, while charcoal is a traditional source of energy and fuel, demand for it drastically affects forest reserves and further reduces rainfall thereby exacerbating aridity."
"The bank has committed $24bn towards agriculture in the next 10 years, with a sharp focus on food self-sufficiency and agricultural industrialisation," AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, said recently.
The recent drought and famine facing some countries (Southern Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda) deserve swift action, as over 20 million face food insecurity and severe malnutrition.