FOREIGN

Terrorism: Nigeria Gets $1m Financial Assistance From ECOWAS

 

 

Nigeria has received $1 million from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to assist terrorism victims in the North East.

ECOWAS also allocated $9 million to aid refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and stateless individuals in its member nations.

The Chair of the ECOWAS Permanent Representative Committee Musa Nuhu said this during the 2024 ECOWAS Ambassadors Retreat held in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

This year’s retreat saw serious business, with all ECOWAS ambassadors from member states in attendance. Organized by UNHCR and ECOWAS, the event began on Thursday and ended on Saturday.

The retreat focused on “Enhancing Protection for Refugees, IDPs, and Stateless Persons in West Africa and Finding Solutions to Forced Displacements.”

In their opening remarks, the organisers emphasized the need to address forced displacements caused by violence, political instability, and climate change.

Discussions also highlighted the recent Alliance of Sahel States (AES) by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, and their withdrawal from ECOWAS. This poses challenges as these countries host high numbers of refugees and IDPs.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs Professor Fatou Sow Sarr underscored the importance of collective efforts in achieving the common objectives of all stakeholders. She noted that contributions from partners are crucial for the success of various projects.

Speaking to journalists, the organizers explained the efforts taken in the West African region by the United Nations and ECOWAS in the protection and provision of refugees and IDPs. The Efforts include the release of $9m funding to member-states for which victims of terrorism in Nigeria’s North-East were allocated $1m.

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Highlighting the sufferings of refugees and displaced persons, a Cameroonian refugee representing refugees in South-South Nigeria Ehini Vera Mwuese urged donors to continue their support. She explained that too many incidents of teenage pregnancy result from hunger and exploitation.

Closing the two-day retreat, a communiqué was released, which included; ECOWAS and UNHCR to organize a joint field assessment with the ECOWAS PRC of refugee and IDP camps in the region, UNHCR to collaborate with the ECOWAS Commission to develop surveys or special questionnaires for data collection and analysis on stateless persons, among other decisions.

Others include; UNHCR and ECOWAS working towards permanent residency for refugees from the region and Working on policies that abolish the status of statelessness of persons from the region. Among other decisions.

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