International development organisation, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said it has successfully concluded a two-year conflict mitigation activity ‘Building Community Resilience to Violent Extremism and Conflict in Northeast Nigeria’, also known as ‘Northeast Connection’ that worked to counter violent conflict in the region.
A statement from the organisation said since 2021, the Northeast Connection promoted nonviolent conflict resolution from the grassroots to state government levels in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The activity provided over $2.1 million in small grants to almost 40 local organisations to strengthen local civil society capacity and promote local solutions to violence.
“USAID is committed to enduring partnerships with Nigerian government institutions and civil societies to mitigate violent conflict in the country,” said conflict specialist at USAID/Nigeria, Mukhtari Shitu, at the closeout event.
Implemented by Creative Associates, the USAID-supported $10.1 million activity worked in 90 communities across 15 local government areas (LGAs) in the three states. Northeast Connection established 181 peace platforms that supported community organisers to identify and advocate for social priorities; trained more than 22,000 people in conflict mitigation and cross-community dialogues and provided trauma-informed psychosocial support to more than 4,300 community members.
In Yobe, the activity worked with the emergency management agency to launch the first-ever, two-year, Early Recovery Plan which equipped the agency with the ability to respond to and recover from disasters more effectively.
Violent conflict has devastated social and governance structures and local markets in northeast Nigeria. The ongoing insurgency by violent extremist groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa has killed over 35,000 and displaced 2.2 million people. The region also struggles with regular intercommunal clashes between farmers, herders and other groups over land and water resources.
The northeast connection activity is part of USAID’s strategic effort to decrease conflict and instability and promote stability and early recovery in Nigeria.