World Bank Approves $500m Loan To Empower Nigerian Women

A $500 million loan has been granted by the World Bank Group to aid Nigeria in advancing women’s empowerment.

It is an increase in funding for the Nigeria for Women Program, which was initially approved on June 27, 2018, with funding totaling $100 million.

The World Bank granted $500 million for the scaling up of the Nigeria for Women Program (NFWP-SU), according to a statement. The scale-up finance would help the Nigerian government invest more in raising the standard of living for women in Nigeria.

“The NFWP-SU will help to ensure better economic opportunities for women, which is critical for addressing gender inequality, ensuring better education, health, and nutrition outcomes for families, and building women’s and communities’ resilience to climate change.”

The World Bank emphasized the importance of the government addressing obstacles that impede women’s economic empowerment and impede inclusive, low-carbon, and resilient economic growth.

It was emphasized that women’s empowerment is vital to their ability to build resilience to climate change, as well as the resilience of their households and communities.

“We have seen promising outcomes from the parent NFWP, which has helped to create economic opportunities for thousands of rural women through the Women Affinity Groups,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. The NFWP model is assisting in the improvement of women’s livelihood options, as well as their capacity to adapt to climate change and engage in local administrations for policymaking pertaining to community empowerment.

“Closing the gender gap in key economic sectors could yield gains ranging from $9.3 billion to $22.9 billion; we are hopeful that this scale-up will assist Nigeria in moving closer to bridging this gap.”

Michael Ilesanmi, the Task Team Leader for the Nigeria for Women Project, added, “The Program aims to mobilize poor and vulnerable women into different institutions and, through these institutional platforms, link them to markets as well as financial and non-financial services.” Participation in Women Affinity Groups helps project beneficiaries establish social capital, which may subsequently be used to gain access to financial, political, and economic capital, resulting in social and economic empowerment.”

It was revealed that the NFWP has been implemented in six states and supports over 427,887 Women Affinity Group members through the development and strengthening of 20,506 of these groups.

In nearly two years, these WAGs have saved approximately NGN 4 billion ($8.9 million equivalent), with a large portion of these monies in circulation as loans at any given time. The NFWP has benefited 835,573 community members so far through various interventions.