Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, signed off on the aid package at the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, held in Yokohama, Japan.
The EU aid to Nigeria will be allocated to the National Indicative Programme, which lays out priorities for EU support to the country; and will be primarily focused on supporting the North Eastern states of Borno and Yobe, where violence and internal displacement have affected a high proportion of residents.
The National Indicative Programme outlines three focal priorities for EU support to Nigeria: enhancing capacity for adequate healthcare, nutrition and reduction of poverty; ensuring widespread access to sustainable energy; and promoting good governance and adherence to the rule of law.
The new aid package brings the total aid to Nigeria distributed by the EU for the period spanning 2014 to 2020 to €562m. The package will go towards:
- Provision of humanitarian and development support in the North East of Nigeria;
- Addressing the underlying factors triggering incidences of violent extremism in the region;
- Peace building, conflict resolution and conciliation projects within communities;
- Working with community bodies and local leaders to boost employment, livelihoods and market participation;
- Strengthening community resilience to promote long term independence; and
- Shoring up conflict mitigation processes, to reduce further violence.
On the occasion, Commissioner Mimica said: “The agreement signed today increases our bilateral cooperation with Nigeria by €50m, bringing the total EU support to the country to €562m for 2014-2020.
This additional support will be focused on the North East of the country. It will help strengthen early recovery and build conflict resilience in affected and vulnerable communities in the states of Yobe and Borno, as well as improve human development, social cohesion and resilience for over 26,000 vulnerable households and communities in Yobe state.”