The funding agreement was signed Thursday in Nouakchott by the Mauritanian Minister of Economy and Finance, Moctar Ould Diay, and the World Bank representative in Nouakchott, Laurent Mselaty.
This initiative corresponds to implementation of the commitment of the leaders of the Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), taken during their summit held in Dakar in 2013 to support irrigation agriculture in the Sahel.
In signing the agreement, Minister Ould Diay pointed out that Mauritania has more than 135,000 ha of arable land and significant surface water resources.
However, the contribution of these resources has remained below expectations since the country spends more than $300 million in foreign currency annually on food imports, he added.
The Regional Support Project for the Sahel Irrigation Initiative seeks to support national efforts in recent years to promote the agricultural sector, especially irrigation agriculture, according to Diay, who said the same project will also support food security through the development of resilience among populations in vulnerable areas.
The World Bank resident representative stressed the importance of the project, which is “highly anticipated by the beneficiary states,” and welcomed the success of the technical workshop on its launch in Mauritania.