ECOWAS allocates $25m in 2024 to fight terrorism in Nigeria, others


Prof. Fatou Sarr, ECOWAS Commissioner, Human Development and Social Affairs,middle, flanked by two other officials of the commission during the news conference at the ECOWAS headquarters on Friday in Abuja.

By Mark Longyen

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it allocated the sum of 25 million dollars in 2024 alone to fight against terrorism in Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Prof. Fatou Sarr, ECOWAS Commissioner, Human Development and Social Affairs, disclosed this during a news conference at the Commission’s headquarters on Friday in Abuja.

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Sarr said that 4 million dollars of the amount was dedicated to humanitarian action to curb the devastating consequences of terrorism, and mitigate the fallout of natural disasters in the subregion.

She noted that humanitarian actions were critical because of the multiple crises and displacements within the Community, adding that such actions never stop even where the target country is under sanctions.

“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 one million dollars for stabilization in Nigeria, that is, 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 in Nigeria, Burkina, Mali and Niger, ECOWAS has reserved 4 million dollars for humanitarian actions,” she said.

The Commissioner said that in 2023 alone, ECOWAS also provided support of 12. 6 million dollars to 4 million out 8.5 million victims of violent conflicts and disasters across West Africa.

She said that the Republic of Guinea, while under sanctions in January this year, received 600,000 dollars, of which 100,000 was allocated to fire disaster, and 499,390 dollars for floods in the country.

Sarr said the Commission also carried out youth programs for the development and promotion of young people within the subregion under 3 key intervention areas, namely, volunteers, sports and economic integration.

“Since 2014, ECOWAS has posted 217 volunteers in the following countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Burkina, Bénin.

“ECOWAS works to promote the spirit of volunteering among young people to give them opportunity for professional development, enhance their civic engagement and foster their conscience for community service,” she said.

Prof. Sarr identified sports as a crucial integration factor, stressing that ECOWAS encouraged youths from all member countries to participate in it to create in them a feeling of belonging to one community.

“ECOWAS also supports sports federations with 100,000 dollars to each of them per year.

“In 2023, ECOWAS initiated cooperation with the People’s Republic of China to support young people. Thus, 12 entrepreneurship projects for young people in the subregion received an award out of a total of 100 worldwide.

“For the ECOWAS Gender Centre, 1,720 excellence scholarships were distributed from 2010 to 2022 to young girls from disadvantaged families,” the Commissioner said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Prof. Sarr also announced that an ECOWAS youth conference would hold from May 2024 to appraise the current situation, identify the changes and ruptures, which have led to some malaise in the subregion.(NAN)

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