The Economic Community of West African States and the United States Government have expanded their partnership to promote peace and security, improve the health status of vulnerable populations, address energy challenges, and support trade activities in the region through a $221m agreement.
To be spread over the next four years, the agreement among others, aims to mitigate electoral violence by partnering with the West African Network for Peace building and providing grants to local civil society organizations to implement early warning recommendations before the identified issues escalate into violence.
At the agreement signing ceremony which took place at the ECOWAS Commission, Abuja on Thursday, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Ouedraogo, expressed the gratitude of the Commission to the US Government and to U.S. Agency for International Development for the growing partnership to bring about poverty reduction in West Africa.
“It is clear there is an extreme need to bridge the gap between alert and response. It is also crucial to enhance the capacities of member states in managing and resolving crisis at local levels in order to reinforce ECOWAS peace and security architecture,” Ouedraogo said.
The ECOWAS Commission boss commended President Barrack Obama’s strong commitment to supporting the West African Early Warning System as well as the enhancement of ECOWAS Warning and Response Network capacities.
In his remark, the USAID West Africa Regional Mission Director, Alex Deprez said the US government is proud to have been a supportive partner to ECOWAS in conflict prevention and early warning and response since 2001.
He said the Early Warning and Response Data in West Africa; a five-year project will see the US provide assistance towards enhancing the ECOWAS goal of reducing the risk of violence across West Africa.