ECOWAS Expends Over $26 million on humanitarian activities between 2023-2024- Commissioner

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said between 2023 and 2024 it splashed over $26 million on humanitarian activities in West Africa.

The regional political cum economic bloc said it also supported sport federations in the region with $100,000 each per year.

Addressing a press conference on Friday in Abuja, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr said the regional body startups in scientific innovation with the sum of $50,000 in the area of youth innovation.

Sarr said a total of $700,000 was used for the training of 30 young people from the region in Masters and PHD programmes.

She also revealed that countries under sanctions were not excluded from the humanitarian gesture of the regional body.

She stressed that ECOWAS puts significant resources into the humanitarian sector for displaced people, migration, floods and various forms of disaster:

She said, “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.”

For the displaced people within the region, Prof. Sarr said, “In 2023 for floods and nutrition out of a total of 8.5 million people affected, ECOWAS provided support to half of the victims, or 4 million people for an amount of $12.6 million.

“In 2024, ECOWAS has released 9 million dollars for internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers, as well as for the communities that welcome them (i.e. all 15 countries).

” ECOWAS has allocated $1 million for stabilization in Nigeria (victims of terrorism, displaced people, injured people, rehabilitation and strengthening community resilience).”

The Commissioner also revealed that “Out of a fund of 25 million dollars intended for the fight against terrorism (Nigeria, Burkina, Mali and Niger), ECOWAS has reserved 4 million dollars for humanitarian actions.”

She explained that ECOWAS places more emphasizes on prevention, adding “We have a disaster reduction strategy and tools such as the observation, monitoring and alert center which allows ECOWAS to monitor displaced populations and floods, to anticipate problems. and better manage crisis situations.”

On the programmes for the youth integration within the region she said that the commission intervention was in the area of Volunteers programs, Sport and Economic Integration

According to her “Since 2014, ECOWAS has posted 217 volunteers in the following countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, Burkina, Benin.

“ECOWAS works to promote the spirit of volunteering among young people to give them opportunity for professional development, enhance their civic engagement and foster their conscience for community service.”

ECOWAS, she also said supported sports federation of each member states with $100,000 per year.

Sarr also listed other sporting activities and Union supported to include the Union of deaf sports associations, university sport development organizations. ECOWAS cycling tours Lagos- Accra 2010, Lagos Abidjan 2012.

“The Ecowas Game Event that included 5 to 6 sports disciplines were organized in 2009 and 2011,” she added.

She also said ECOWAS supported the Entrepreneurship project and youth mentoring Business incubation project.

She listed the area of training to include “Training in agrosylvopastoral farming from 2010-2018 at the Shanghai Center for 1,300 young people

“Training in refrigeration and air conditioning, auto mechanics in Burkina between 2014 and 2019 for 500 young people

“Training in building electricity in Mali for 500 young people.”

Prof. Sarr also revealed that ECOWAS initiated cooperation with the People’s Republic of China in 2023 to support young people, “Thus 12 entrepreneurship projects for young people in the sub-region received an awardcompetitors out of a total of 100 worldwide.”

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, we can cite

“The academic mobility and professional integration program for young people within ECOWAS institutions, which from 2016 to 2024 enrolled 845 young people.

“The youth integration program in industries and the private sector in ECOWAS countries, which benefitted 180 young people between 2021 and 2022.”

Sarr added that: “Since 2019 ECOWAS has sent 42 young people for master’s degrees in diplomacy and international relations in Spain.

“Support for young people through prizes to the most successful startups in scientific innovation ($50,000).

“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, for a total of $700,000.”

She also said the commission was supported the youths during film and art festivals, ad prizes were awarded to young artists.

For the ECOWAS Gender Center, Sarr said: “1,720 excellence scholarships were distributed from 2010 to 2022 to young girls from disadvantaged families.”

The Commissioner also revealed that there are 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.”

The forum which will be extended by webinars to reach a larger number of people, television shows and radio debates, she said “will allow populations in each country to know that ECOWAS is looking into youth problems.

” 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.”

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

Your Comment