UNDP to support IGAD on addressing violent extremism through a development lensApr 27, 2016
20 April 2016 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) plus Tanzania in developing and implementing a sub-regional strategy to promote cooperation and coordination in preventing and countering violent extremism. IGAD Member States include Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.
The collaboration follows IGAD Executive Secretary Ambassador Mahboub Maalim’s March 2016 request to UNDP to support the organisation’s work in this area, and was jointly announced by IGAD’s Preventing Violent Extremism/Countering Violent Extremism Programmes Coordinator Simon Nyambura and UNDP Africa Regional Programme Coordinator Mohamed Yahya.
Consultations on the strategy will begin in May 2016, and will engage government officials, civil society and other national stakeholders. The final strategy will be available by the end of 2016 and will help guide sub-regional programmes and resource allocations, and inform countries’ national actions.
Violent extremism has had a severe social and economic impact in Africa. UNDP research shows that some 33,000 people have lost their lives in about 4,000 terrorist attacks in Africa in the last 5 years alone. Hundreds of thousands of people have also been displaced by groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Shabaab in Somalia.
UNDP’s support to IGAD is part of the recently-launched, four-year USD 65.7 million initiative Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism in Africa: A Development Approach, that aims to address the root causes and enabling factors of violent extremism, focused on countries directly affected by violent extremist acts such as Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Somalia; those suffering the spill over effects, such as Cameroon and Chad; and those that could be at risk.
The regional programme works with regional and national institutions, including government, police and the criminal justice system; religious institutions; and communities to build trust, identify early warning signs of radicalisation and potential violent extremism, and design appropriate responses.
The IGAD strategy is part of the organisation’s overall collaboration with UNDP in support of the establishment in Djibouti of the Horn and Eastern Africa Countering Violent Extremism Center of Excellence and Counter-Messaging Hub.