• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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ECOWAS commits $25m this year to fight terrorism in Nigeria, 3 others

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it has allocated 25 million dollars this year to fight terrorism in Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Fatou Sow Sarr, commissioner on Human Development and Social Affairs/Professor disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.

Out of the $25 million fund, Sarr informed that ECOWAS earmarked $4 million for humanitarian actions aimed at mitigating the devastating consequences of terrorism.

The Commissioner also informed that the ECOWAS released $9 million to support internally displaced persons, refugees, asylum seekers, and the communities hosting them across all 15 member countries.

Specifically addressing Nigeria, which has been grappling with the scourge of terrorism, she said ECOWAS has designated $1 million for stabilisation efforts. This includes assistance for victims of terrorism, displaced individuals, those injured, as well as initiatives for rehabilitation and strengthening community resilience.

“In 2024, ECOWAS has released 9 million dollars for internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers, as well as for the communities that welcome them (i.e. all 15 countries) ECOWAS has allocated $1 million for stabilization in Nigeria (victims of terrorism, displaced people, injured people, rehabilitation and strengthening community resilience ).

“Out of a fund of 25 million dollars intended for the fight against terrorism (Nigeria, Burkina, Mali and Niger), ECOWAS has reserved 4 million dollars for humanitarian actions”, she said.

Sarr emphasized ECOWAS’s commitment to prevention, citing the implementation of a disaster reduction strategy and the utilization of tools such as the observation, monitoring, and alert center. These mechanisms, she note enable ECOWAS to monitor displaced populations, anticipate crises, and effectively manage emergency situations.

She pointed out that despite challenges such as sanctions, ECOWAS remains steadfast in its humanitarian actions, noting that even countries under sanctions, like Guinea, have received support from ECOWAS, with nearly $600,000 allocated for relief efforts in January 2024, addressing incidents such as fire incidents and floods.

Highlighting previous initiatives, Sarr revealed that in 2023 alone, ECOWAS committed $12.6 million towards addressing floods and nutrition concerns. This support reached approximately half of the 8.5 million people affected by such crises, totaling assistance for 4 million individuals.

In addition to combating terrorism and providing humanitarian aid, tje Commissioner informed that ECOWAS is also dedicated to youth empowerment, and announced plans for a youth conference scheduled for May 2024, aimed at addressing the challenges faced by young people in the region.

She explained that the conference will involve consultations across member countries, incorporating diverse perspectives through webinars, television shows, and radio debates.

Sarr also said that the outcomes of the discussions will ultimately inform ECOWAS’s policies, strategies, and roadmap for youth development.

Also highlighting efforts in youth development, she informed that in 2023, , 12 entrepreneurship projects from West Africa received recognition out of a total of 100 worldwide. Additionally, the ECOWAS Gender Centre has awarded 1,720 excellence scholarships to young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds between 2010 and 2022, further demonstrating the ECOWAS commitment to empowering youth and promoting gender equality in the region.

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