Press Release, 09.09.2015
The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) is pleased to announce the visit today of Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), to sign a CHF 4 million contribution agreement between GCERF and the FDFA.
Signing the agreement on behalf of GCERF, Executive Director Dr. Khalid Koser MBE noted the importance of the generous support provided by Switzerland to GCERF since its establishment last year in Geneva. “GCERF’s existence owes much to the commitment of Switzerland to champion new approaches by the international community to tackle violent extremism at its roots.”
The Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter noted that signing this agreement reaffirms Switzerland’s commitment to working with international partners on a sustainable and preventive approach to violent extremism. While Switzerland has a strong track record in engaging civil society and support community projects, this is a new approach in the field of countering violent extremism. Mr. Burkhalter also emphasized the joint responsibility of the public and private sectors in providing constructive alternatives to young people, and urged GCERF to continue to mobilize private sector support. “As a public-private partnership one of GCERF’s main efforts should be to attract new private partners”, he said.
Later in the signing ceremony, Dr. Koser went on to note with satisfaction that “in July, our Governing Board approved GCERF’s first funding to support community initiatives to prevent radicalization to violent extremism in Bangladesh, Mali, and Nigeria. The nearly USD 15 million committed in this our first year reflects the urgency and importance placed by the international community on more effectively preventing radicalisation to violent extremism.”
GCERF is an independent Swiss foundation established in September 2014 to support grassroots, community-level initiatives that address the local drivers of violent extremism and strengthen resilience against violent extremist agendas. A public private partnership, GCERF operates at the nexus of security and development. GCERF is committed to working in partnership and consultation with governments, civil society, and the private sector in beneficiary countries to support national strategies to address the local drivers of violent extremism.