Strengthening capacities for peace building and conflict resolution in Nigeria’s middle belt
Title: PEACECORE – Strengthening Peace Building and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
Commissioned by: Federal German Ministry for Economic Development and Employment (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Federal Ministry for Budget and National Planning
Overall term: 2019 to 2023
Plateau State in central Nigeria is conflict-ridden, and the displacement and insecurity this causes negatively impact agricultural and livestock farming. Value chains are disrupted, and the rural population’s self-sufficiency capacities are diminished.
Various conflict lines contribute to tensions: farmers and cattle herders compete over natural resources such as water and land; diverging political and economic interests are widespread; the state’s population has a number of different cultural, religious and ethnic identities. Pressure on natural resources has increased continuously in recent years due to a population boom, while climate change has resulted in increased movement of cattle herders from northern to central Nigeria. In addition, the expansion of agricultural land and settlements has led to a reduction in the availability of pastureland and agricultural policies have made the situation of pastoralists even more complex and challenging. As a result, traditional conflict management mechanisms and agreements are no longer maintained. Disputes over damaged crops, polluted water, degraded land and livestock theft are on the rise, and the ensuing conflicts frequently involve violence.
The general conditions for governmental and civil society actors and for the target group of farmers and cattle herders have improved in terms of de-escalating violent conflict over resources in the Plateau State of Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
PEACECORE is a Transitional Development Assistance project promoting peaceful coexistence, inclusive peacebuilding and conflict transformation processes, poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods and food security. The project pursues a participatory and inclusive approach to ensure ownership by affected and targeted communities. The actual needs of target groups inform project activities. The principles of leaving-no-one-behind and do-no-harm are adhered to through the project’s firm focus on strengthening target groups’ capacities for self-help in order to boost economic, ecological and socially sustainable rural development.
The project consists of three components:
(1) At macro level, the project supports the organisational development of the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA). This supports the improvement of the Agency’s capacities for coordinating peacebuilding efforts, contributes towards the development and implementation of concepts for decentralised structures, trains local mediators to mediate in conflicts over natural resources, and supports advocacy and dialogue processes. The project also partners with the DWEC group to develop trauma processing and reconciliation structures.
(2) In cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the project addresses the interrelations between peaceful coexistence and economic empowerment among cattle herders and farmers, Christians and Muslims, groups of youth and the elderly, as well as men and women. At micro and meso level, farmers and herders are trained in various aspects of sustainable agricultural praxis. This includes setting up new cooperatives and associations and empowering selected existing structures, diversifying value chains and livelihoods, as well as reviving and expanding on traditional trade mechanisms. In addition to this, infrastructure and rehabilitation measures are implemented as Cash for Work Activities that aim to boost peaceful coexistence include encouraging social and cultural dialogue between conflicting groups, supporting peace processes, and fostering community events. The project also improves the capacities for conflict-sensitive media reporting (implemented by Search for Common Ground).
(3) Also at meso and macro level, the project promotes networks of peace actors. Civil society actors and decision-makers are supported to establish a system of joint context monitoring with the aim to enable an informed and conflict-sensitive decision making regarding ongoing and future interventions. In this regard, an impact evaluation (implemented in cooperation with GFA) sheds light on the effectiveness of implemented measures.
Last update: December 2020