Nigeria: Nigeria, EU promote women engagement in peace moves in Northern Nigeria

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The Nigerian government and the European Union (EU) Monday signed a 10 million Euro sponsorship agreement to promote women's engagement in peace and security in the Boko Haram enclave in Northern Nigeria.

The programme would be funded by the EU but would be implemented by the United Nations Women (UN Women) in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

It will fund various development programmes and projects in the areas of governance reforms, water and sanitation, human rights, peace and security, energy, trade and regional integration, health sector development and institutional support.

Nigerian Supervising Minister of National Planning, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, who signed on behalf of the Federal Government, said that in recognition of the instability in the country, especially as it affects women in Nigeria's Northern States, the EU approved the programme after due consultation with the Nigerian National Planning Commission.

It is to support women’s engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria.

Yuguda said that by authorizing the Financing Agreement, Nigeria will be on the right path to promoting women’s engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria while “significantly assisting Nigeria in achieving its development goals. It will also give the right impetus in promoting women’s engagement in peace and security in Northern Nigeria, and is conceived to enhance women’s participation in peace building, by emphasising the relevance of women in development, peace and stability.”

Head of Delegation of the European Union in Nigeria, Mr. Micheal Arrrion, also said, at the agreement signing event, that women have been very active in conflict resolution and peace building, but rarely allowed in to the formal peace process.

He added that though great advances have been made, there is still a long way to achieve a world free from gender discrimination.

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

Zainab thanked the EU for their support for Nigerian women, arguing that women are bridge builders.

The Minister pledged that in partnership with UN Women system, they will spend the fund judiciously according to EU standards to ensure that peace returns to the north and all parts of Nigeria.
-0- PANA MON/VAO 24March2014

24 march 2014 18:52:13

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