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ECOWAS releases $9m for IDPs, refugees in Nigeria, others – Commissioner

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it has released $9 million for humanitarian activities within the region in 2024.  At a press…

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it has released $9 million for humanitarian activities within the region in 2024. 
At a press conference in Abuja on Friday 19th April 2024, the Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, said ECOWAS has released 9 million dollars for internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers, as well as for the communities that welcome them in all 15 countries.”
“ECOWAS has allocated $1 million for stabilization in Nigeria (victims of terrorism, displaced people, injured people, rehabilitation and strengthening community resilience,” she added.
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, the Commissioner said.
She said ECOWAS emphasizes prevention, saying the regional bloc had a disaster reduction strategy and tools which allow it to monitor displaced populations and floods, anticipate problems and better manage crises.
“Humanitarian actions constitute an important concern because of multiple crises and population displacements, to which we must add climate change and natural disasters. It should be noted that whatever the situation, even in the event of sanctions, ECOWAS humanitarian actions never stop.
“Guinea, under sanctions received nearly 600,000 dollars in January 2024, namely: 100,000 dollars for the fire at the oil depot and 499,390 dollars for the floods,” she said.
In the area of Science Education, the ECOWAS Commissioner said the programs of the Directorate of Education, Science and Culture focus largely on young people.
She added, “Since 2019 ECOWAS has sent 42 young people for master’s degrees in diplomacy and international relations in Spain.
“With PARI (Research and Innovation Support Program) from 2018 to 2024, it was possible to train more than 30 young people in Masters and PHD through funds donated to research consortia.”
The Commissioner also disclosed that there were plans to host ECOWAS Youth Forum in the coming month.
The forum, she said is “to take stock of the current situation, identify the changes and ruptures which have led to the general malaise observed in the sub-region.
“Consultations will be organized in member countries by bringing together young people concerned in their geographic, social and socio-professional diversity.”
“At the end of the process, the ECOWAS meetings will be organized in a member country, allowing the regional organization to review its policy, strategy and roadmap accordingly.”

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