FG, EU sign N2.1bn agreement for peace in North

On Monday the Federal Government and the European Union signed an agreement for a programme aimed at promoting women’s engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria.

The European Union is funding the project with the sum of 10m euro (N2.1bn), which will be implemented by the United Nations (UN Women) in partnership with the United Nations Children Fund.

The Minister of National Planning Commission, Amb Bashir Yuguda signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government, while the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, signed on behalf of the EU.

The project seeks to create mechanisms to enhance women’s participation in peace building and follows a multi-level model for implementation of the UN Security Council resolution.

The Programme will be implemented in Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna, and Gombe states based on criteria developed for identifying typology of conflicts, level of crisis and impact and also availability of existing capacities, international presence, level of political commitments and general level of security.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Yuguda, said that the agreement has formally authorized the commencement of the program.

He said the Program would also raise the capacity of Nigeria’s institutions and civil society across a range of activities, in response to needs identified in pro-active consultation with the beneficiaries at the federal and state levels.

He said, “By authorizing the financing agreement today, Nigeria will be on the right path to promote women’s engagement in peace and security in the Northern Nigeria.

“This we also believe will significantly assist Nigeria in achieving t’s developmental goals articulated in the Nigeria Vision 2020 and Transformation Agenda of Mr President.”

Arrion who also spoke at the event said the program is in line with the action plan approved by the European Union commission.

The Minister of Women affairs, Hajiaya Zainab Maina while speaking at the signing ceremony lamented that women are the worst hit when it comes to issues security problems.

She commended the EU for their support for Nigerian women pledging that in partnership with UN Women system,  the fund will be judiciously used according to EU standards to ensure that peace returns to the north and all parts of Nigeria.

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