ECOWAS has given 4.5 million dollars to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to enable them cope with refugee and displacement crisis caused by the rebellion in the north of Mali.
This is contained in a statement from the ECOWAS Commission, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
Out of the amount, three million dollars would go to Mali, while Niger and Burkina Faso would get 800,000 dollars and 700,000 dollars, respectively.
It said the funds were presented by President Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, during the opening session of Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of States in Abidjan.
Ambassador Kadré Ouédraogo, President of the commission, described the donation as part of the region’s modest contributions and an expression of solidarity with the refugees and displaced persons in the three countries.
NAN recalls that the ECOWAS Heads of State in February authorised the release of the humanitarian support to mitigate the sufferings of the displaced persons.
NAN also recalls that the ongoing extraordinary Summit of the regional leaders in Abidjan forms part of efforts to restore normalcy and constitutional rule to Guinea Bissau and Mali.
Meanwhile, regional experts in animal diseases have called for the setting up of an emergency fund at country levels for the management of health crises, which include trans boundary animal diseases.
The call was made at the end of a five-day meeting in Accra as part of efforts to promote the production of quality foods and exports in the ECOWAS region.
The experts also called on member states to improve funding to veterinary services, through allocating national budgets to Trans-boundary Diseases (TADs) and Zoonoses.
They urged all stakeholders to establish a network of West African veterinary laboratories.
They also called for an establishment of a West African epidemiological surveillance network system for collecting and disseminating data, and the introduction of a consultative framework.
They noted that the framework would harmonise the curricula and capacity building in regional training institutions in veterinary medicine and educational and research institutions.
The meeting also called for recognition and provision of resources to the two reference laboratories already identified as part of the regional laboratory network.
They are the National Laboratory for Livestock Breeding and Research in Dakar, Senegal and the National Veterinary Research Institute Laboratory in Vom, Nigeria.
Dr. Vivian Iwar on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission, urged participants to review the study on seasonal movement of livestock with a view to charting a way forward.
The five-day meeting was aimed at achieving the ECOWAS objectives on regional trans boundary animal disease and infections, developing epi surveillance strategy, and the harmonisation of laboratory procedures in the region.
The participants included representatives of the Association for the Promotion of Animal Breeding in the Sahel and Savannah and the Confederation of African Animal Breeders.
Others included experts in animal health and disease surveillance.