Geneva, 28 February 2023 (TDI): The world marked the first International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism on 12 February 2023. The aim of this day is to spread awareness about the threats that are linked with violent extremism.

Case of Nigeria

The village of Ngarannam in northeast Nigeria faced devastation due to the violent activities of the group Boko Haram in 2015. The village was completely destroyed due to the attack.

This attack created further crises such as displacement and loss of livelihoods, such as more than 2 million Nigerians being displaced. 

One resident, Ali Ngarannam said, “I never really feel safe. We do not even sleep because we are scared at night. I don’t go out for a walk because I am scared that I will be kidnapped.” 

But after seven years of displacement, a new village is rising as families are returning to this place. They are building new ways to create a new community that would include houses, new schools, health facilities, markets, and accommodations for police. 

Efforts of UNDP and EU

The rehabilitation process in the Nigerian village is accommodated by the efforts of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the European Union (EU) under the program ‘Stabilization in Northeast Nigeria. 

The main theme of this programme relied on the recognition of locally directed action than imposing outside designs on communities, that are more sustainable.

The village was designed under the guidance of the villagers themselves, who worked closely with local authorities. Moreover, a leading Lagos-based female architect, Tosin Oshinowo, developed a design that is innovative, sustainable and improves security.

This helped break the cycle of conflict, violence, and displacement including the bait of recruitment by extremist groups. 

The stabilization approach with the help and suggestions of the community helped to build trust to reform and progress the restructuring efforts. 

The agenda of the programme also include boosting the local economy, delivering basic services, rehabilitating infrastructure, improving security and social cohesion, and integrating displaced people, especially women and children perceived to be associated with violent extremist groups who have surrendered.

Focus on other regional states

It is not only Nigeria but changes are being made in other regional states as well, including Camero, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria receive finances towards the rapid stabilization of the region through UNDP’s Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF) for Lake Chad.

The programme was developed in partnership with the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Through this programme, they have the resources necessary to establish long-term peace and build back trust between their citizens.

According to the programme 3,000 community and security representatives are trained in human rights and protection.

Restorative measures are implemented on various systems including health and community centers, markets, homes, security posts, schools, and drainage systems.

The efforts launched by UNDP along with other agencies created positive impacts on Nigeria and the region.