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3.3m Nigerians internally displaced due to insecurity, crisis —ECOWAS

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Not less than 3.3 million Nigerians have been displaced within the country as a result of various crisis and insecurity in the country, according to a report on Tuesday by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The Vice President of the West African regional body, Finda Koroma, who disclosed this at a virtual stakeholders’ workshop on the ‘Best Practices for Stabilization in West Africa,’ said the sub-region needed to address the crisis of internal displacement.

“Violent attacks by Boko Haram in the northeastern Nigeria, have resulted in the displacement of 3.3 million Nigerians, whilst kidnappings, extortion and organised criminal attacks in the North West have displaced an additional 800,000 people.

“For instance, Burkina Faso has experienced an explosion in its forced displacement crisis because of militant Islamist group violence originating in Mali.

“Its current 1.2 million displaced population represents a nine-fold increase from 2019. We need to find a way to return these communities to their homes safely.

Read also: ECOWAS insists on shorter transition period in Mali, 2 others

“It is against this backdrop that ECOWAS Commission, in partnership with development organisations and governments, has embarked on an ambitious journey of introducing interventions designed to stabilise conflict affected areas, address the root causes of insecurity, and set them on the path for sustainable development through recovery and building community resilience,” Koroma said.

She added that the regional body was in partnership with the German government to establish a fund to help stabilise the region.

“In partnership with the German government, we’ve established the ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilisation and Development in fragile member states.

“The objective of this programme is to stabilise conflict affected communities through provision of sustainable economic opportunities and essential services for conflict affected communities, construction or rehabilitation of key national infrastructure and capacity building for governance and security institutions.”

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