Japan and UNDP team up to help strengthen security in Niger

Dec 16, 2014

Hamada Ali, Chief of Weilla-bon village, Niger : “Life gradually returns to the village, after drought had decimated livestock and the able-bodied left in search of work, leaving families and children behind.” Photo UNDP/Niger

Niamey – The Government of Japan today signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help Niger bolster peace and security within the country and in the Sahel.

With US$ 1.7 million dollars from Japan, UNDP and the European Union civilian mission in Niger (EUCAP Sahel Niger) will work with the Nigerien authorities to provide training and equipment to police and other institutions to strengthen the regions’ ability to respond to civilian and security crises.

They will also support dialogue efforts at the community level to help prevent conflict, build social cohesion and strengthen confidence between communities and the uniformed personnel.

Niger straddles the Sahara desert and the Sahel, covering large expanses of territory in a region where organized crime and terrorist organizations have become increasingly active.

“Peace and security are absolutely essential for development. Without them, communities are basically unable to plan for the longer term,” said Fodé Ndiaye, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and Representative of UNDP in Niger, adding that “Niger is a vast country and its security challenges are considerable. Our support for regional and community security in Niger aims to lay the foundations of a more sustainable, grassroots development process.” “Peace, security and development are essentially intertwined,” he said.

The project Strengthening community and regional capacities for security enhancement in Niger will be implemented over 18 months.

Through the project, the decentralized Joint Command Centres in seven regions, where they are placed under the authority of the Governor, will be equipped and trained to better anticipate potential crisis and intervene more quickly.

The contribution from Japan will finance the procurement of vehicles and radio equipment, while EUCAP Sahel Niger, will train security personnel and provide technical support throughout its implementation.

UNDP support will aim to build confidence and dialogue among local authorities, traditional and religious leaders, youth and women in villages located near the Joint Command Centers. Peace committees will be organized to engage the population and highlight the importance of solving disputes peacefully, while community radios will reinforce these messages in local languages.

In addition, civilians and security personnel will engage in joint initiatives focusing on early warning and human rights issues.

The project will build on experience and capacities established over the years as part of UNDP initiatives for peace, governance and human security on the one hand, and community resilience in the Sahel on the other, which are funded by the Government of Japan.

Contact information

In Niger: Martine Thérer, Deputy Resident Representative/Programme, UNDP Niger,
+227.912.08.303, martine.therer@undp.org

In New York: Nicolas Douillet, Communications Specialist, UNDP Africa,
+1.917.701.1520, nicolas.douillet@undp.org

In Dakar: Romain Desclous, Communications Specialist, UNDP Regional Projects in Sahel, +221.767.234.663, romain.desclous@undp.org

In Tokyo: Toshiya Nishigori, Public Affairs Specialist,
+81-3-5467-4875, toshiya.nishigori@undp.org

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