By Awa Macalo
The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund has held a 2-day coordination workshop to discuss and review progress made towards project results and lessons learned to enhance synergy and coordination for greater peacebuilding effect and impact.
The two-day event sought to bring all UN agencies and their implementing partners together to discuss the progress made on various projects, learn from one another, and foster synergy among stakeholders working on PBF projects and programs.
PBF has invested $26 million in Gambia over the last five years, covering 13 projects in areas such as transitional justice, security sector reform, institutional strengthening, land conflict resolution, women and youth participation in decision-making, rule of law and community policing, youth against political violence, returning migrants, climate change, and cross-border cooperation between Gambia and Senegal, among others.
Seraphine Wakana, the UN Resident Coordinator, recalled that the UN Peacebuilding Fund was one of the first responders to support the Government in its aspirations for democratic reforms and transitional justice since the dawn of the democratic transition in 207, with the support of the UN Country Team’s ongoing support to the Gambian people.
“It is worth noting that the PBF funded projects are designed annually and approved after consultative engagement with national partners and beneficiaries to ensure that identified interventions are relevant with peacebuilding effects. I must say that the needs and aspirations of the country are broad across various sectors, but unfortunately, the PBF is not in position to support all the needs,” she said.
She went on to say that the PBF’s distinguishing trait is its ability to assist crucial peacebuilding efforts that many mainstream donors overlook. “I encourage you all as technical persons and beneficiaries working in the projects to enhance the stability of the country. I equally request the government to mainstream some of the peacebuilding initiatives in the work plan of sectors to sustain peace and security, which will eventually support the achievement of the core development agenda.”
The Secretary General and Head of Civil Service Noah Touray, thanked the UN country team for complementing government’s efforts in sustaining peace in the Gambia and the PBF coordination team for effectively coordinating the PBF portfolio in The Gambia.
“We recognise your special support in enhancing the capacity of the government and national stakeholders to establish credible transitional justice processes and mechanism that promote reconciliation and sustainable peace in The Gambia,” he said.