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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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UN launches project to support Gambia’s peacebuilding process

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By Aisha Tamba

Last week, the government in partnership with UNDP, Unesco and ITC officially launched the infrastructure for peace, and social cohesion project in The Gambia. The project funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund was launched at the first steering committee meeting attended by the UN resident coordinator, Ms Seraphine Wakana, DPS Ismaila Danso of the ministry of interior and representatives from the NHRC and civil society.

Speaking at the launching, the UN resident coordinator Seraphine Wakana reaffirmed UN’s commitment to strengthening national capacity for conflict prevention and sustaining peace in The Gambia.

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Ismaila Danso, the DPS ministry of interior, said the importance of nourishing and sustaining peace in the country cannot be overemphasised. He thanked the UN Peacebuilding Funds and all partners including WANEP-Gambia and the I4P TWG for supporting the design of the project.

The UNDP resident coordinator, Ms Aissata De, said the I4P project is a significant milestone towards building sustainable peace in the country.

The diplomat said the absence of a central institution to coordinate peacebuilding and conflict-prevention initiatives has over the years hindered approaches to meaningful dialogue.

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“Lasting peace requires strong institutions, capacity and structures to deal with the myriads of conflicts and security threats that affect communities. The Gambia, like many countries in the sub-region, remains vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including rising temperature levels, drought, and floods.

As the Gambian population continues to increase, there is also growing demand for land for housing, agriculture and other economic activities. Over the years, this has led to encroachment on communal land, forests, and wetlands which may result in conflicts between and within communities,” she said.

She added that the vulnerability of the country and the activities of violent extremist groups around the sub-region, require proper measures to mitigate its effects. 

According to stakeholders, the project will be implemented within a span of 3 years by the UNDP, Unesco and ITC, and several national partners. It will leverage existing networks and resources, strengthen local capacities, and promote inclusive participation in peacebuilding processes, for lasting resilience and peace.

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