$10m de-radicalization programme to focus on women

By Rafat Salami, Abuja.

UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Ms Fatma Samoura

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Ms Fatma Samoura says the agency’s robust de-radicalisation programme in Nigeria  will focus on women and youth.

Ms Fatma Samoura told voice of Nigeria shortly after she briefed the press on her agenda for the country that  focusing on women and the youth will ensure sustainable peace in the country especially in the Northeast ravaged by terrorist activities.

She said ” we have just finalized a project on de radicalisation at UNDP that will be focusing on building peace infrastructure and also using conflict prevention as a main means to involve young people, and to put the young people in the center of decision and using them as champions of sustainable peace in their community…and the women will also given opportunity to enable their voices heard through the focused groups that will be put in place”.

Ms Fatima who also doubles as the UNDP Country representative linked violent extremism in Nigeria to ‘lack of opportunities and exclusion”, adding that the UN is tackling the issue through ‘a strong understanding of the diversity  of the conflict.”

She said for 2016 alone, the UN would be requiring $10m for the de-radicalisation programme but would be needing nearly 300 million in the next 6 years to holistically address issues of violent extremism

Ms. Samoura added that the UNDP has already commenced the process for building social cohesion,  promoting inclusiveness and reducing poverty  in the northeast of the country where nearly 2.2 milion people have been displaced.

She said: “We have already commenced the implementation of two projects which contributes to structural conflict prevention in the North East. These are on ‘Livelihood Support and Social Cohesion’ and the ‘De-Radicalization, Counter-Terrorism and Migration’ Projects.

Within the year, we shall support the civil society organizations with grants, towards improving the quality of their engagement in the anti-corruption process in the country and in enhancing the transparency of public institutions. This would enhance the success of the on-going war against corruption, increase the rate of recovery of stolen public resources and enhance transparency.

The issue of Conflict Prevention, Peace building, and Social Cohesion remains a critical area for us at UNDP and the UN at large. We will continue to provide support to the government in responding to emerging challenges; – we are redoubling our efforts and investing more in promoting peace because, as the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said, “there can be no development without peace, no peace without development, and none of these without respect for human rights”.

She said the UNDP’s project in Nigeria keys into the federal government agenda of rehabilitating the northeast and also partners with all government agencies and tiers to ensure its sustainability.