Communities in Kogi and Nassarawa states can now heave a sigh of relief as the country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, on Tuesday said the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) has approved the sum of 2.5 million US Dollars for a three-year community engagements in Kogi and Nasarawa states from 2019.
Obi who disclosed this in Lokoja at the End of Project Dissemination of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE) Project in Kogi State.
Obi who was represented by Mrs Tasalla Chibok, Director Programmes, said that the approval from GCERF would enable the extension of the project in Kogi after its 30 months engagement in six communities of the State.
According to her, the “ambitious” project aimed at addressing the intrinsic issues of extreme violence spilling across communities in Kogi making the state an unsafe corridor for about 11 states as a result of the spill over effect on adjoining states.
“It was against this backdrop that the SARVE project tagged, ‘Building Bridges; Creating Alternatives’ was launched in Kogi State”, she said.
She added that the project was aimed at supporting communities to build resilience against violent extremism.
It also aimed to establish and enhance structures to utilise available resources in preventing radicalisation and as well, respond to, withstand and overcome impact of adverse violent extremism should it occur.
Obi said that the SARVE project had contributed greatly in reducing violent extremism and youth restiveness and as well, improved the economic status of women and youths in the project communities through through its Livelihood Support Programmes.
She held that the project had evidently impacted over 20,000 youths, women and men across Okpakpata, Osaragada/Aku, Osara, Ofuloko and Fulani communities in Adavi and Igalamela-Odolu Local Government Areas of the state.
The project, she said, within the last 30 months, had sensitised about one-third of the 1.8 million youths in the state through its radio jingles, peace walks and capacity development programmes.
Obi said it was in recognition of the success of the project that that GCERF approved 2.5 million Dollars for continuation of the project from February, 2019.
She used the occasion to thank women, youths and members if the various communities for their cooperation and the willingness to make changes in the economies of their families, the communities, the state and the nation.
The state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Edward Onoja, commended ActionAid for the interventions especially the livelihood support programmes.
He said that the security situation in the state had greatly improved with government proactive and quick response to the situation making it possible for the state to be secured for the project to succeed.
Bello thanked ActionAid for adding value to the rural women and support for young people who had become good citizens rather than miscreants and urged ActionAid to scale up its support for the people.
The occasion also featured the presentation of awards to the state governor, the Chief of Staff, stakeholders, ministries, communities and its local rights partner in the state, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) among others.
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