The European Union (EU) has earmarked 36.1 million Euros (about N8 billion) to combat organised crime, trafficking and terrorism in the North East geo-political zone of Nigeria.
The delegation of the EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS, in a statement, said three new measures had been adopted to tackle the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons.
“In Nigeria, three measures (EUR 36.1 million) will help to strengthen the resilience of the people, prevent conflict and promote stability,” it said.
The EU said one of the measures was “linking relief, rehabilitation and development, and promoting the stability and security of communities in north-east Nigeria,” it said.
“The overall objective of this measure is to promote stability and resilience among people affected by conflict and displacement in north-east Nigeria.
“The programme will help improve access to basic services for vulnerable people affected by displacements, boost socio-economic recovery and ensure sustainable livelihoods for displaced persons, host communities and returnees.
“It will be focusing in particular on the needs of young people to reduce the risks of crime and radicalisation, and improve community safety and conflict mediation,” it said.
According to the EU, the activities will be implemented in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
The EU said the second measure is “investing in the safety and integrity of Nigerian girls”.
It said “this measure aims to improve the protection, access to informal education and economic empowerment of 12,000 teenagers through a community approach.
“The measure is based on an existing network of community committees, women’s groups and trainers in north-east Nigeria, in addition to young girls.
“The programme will target 5,000 teenage boys through activities to improve their means of subsistence while enhancing their awareness of the added value of gender equality and healthy masculinity”.
According to it, the third measure to combat organised crime, trafficking and terrorism in the zone is “improving conflict management capacity at State and community level in north-east Nigeria”.
“The overall objective of this programme will be to build conflict management capacities at State and community levels in order to combat radicalism and stop conflict from escalating into violence.
“More specifically, the project will focus on: strengthening conflict management mechanisms at community level, and promoting reconciliation and stability;
“Supporting women’s participation in the peace-building process and taking into account the impact of violence against women and young girls” is also the focus of the programme, according to EU