“In order to enhance the effectiveness of the counter-terrorism efforts of the international community and the countries in the region we need to invest more and more significantly in the prevention of violent extremism, working with the local communities, with the aim of ensuring basic services, training and development opportunities, and building credible institutions by encouraging the participation of the citizens in the decision-making processes”. This was the message with which, Marina Sereni, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, opened the event on countering radicalisation in the Sahel region organised by the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), in partnership with France and G5 Sahel, which took place today in Paris.
Vice Minister Sereni continued, “What is needed is an approach that combines military efforts with interventions aimed at addressing the root causes, both economic and social, that lead to radicalisation and, consequently, violent extremism. On the basis of these premises, Italy, together with other European countries, supports the Global Fund’s activities to implement projects and activities that start from the grassroots level, involving the younger generations and with a specific focus on gender equality in favour of communities in southern Mali. We have decided this year to allocate an additional € 2 million to fund more GCERF projects.” The Fund, which is based in Geneva, operates in various countries (besides Mali, also in Albania, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, the Philippines, Kenya, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Niger, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Somalia) implementing projects to prevent radicalisation in communities at risk, through support to local actors and NGOs.