A teacher at a school in Dhusamareeb, central Somalia, takes a class while armed with an AK 47 to defend against Islamist Al-Shabaab fighters
A teacher at a school in Dhusamareeb, central Somalia, takes a class while armed with an AK 47 to defend against Islamist Al-Shabaab fighters.

The United States and Turkey are to create a $200 million fund to cut off Islamic extremism at source by countering jihadist propaganda and offering better opportunities to those vulnerable to radicalisation.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu are expected to announce the launch of the fund in New York today during a meeting of foreign ministers at the Global Counterterrorism Forum.

The Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience will be created with money from governments and NGOs, and will be funnelled into community groups and organisations in countries including Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen.

"Countries that have a radicalisation problem previously had to rely on ad hoc support from wealthier donor nations, many of which are not bureaucratically capable of sponsoring the small intervention programs necessary to disrupt the radicalisation process," William McCants, a former State Department counter-terrorism official who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution, told the New York Times.

"Now countries can turn to the global fund to sponsor programmes that will pull young men and women back from the edge of terrorist violence."

The US will initially pledge between two and three million dollars to the fund, with Britain, Denmark, Qatar, Canada and the EU also expected to contribute. The total sum is expected to reach $200 million in ten years.

With methods for detecting and eliminating terrorists becoming more sophisticated, some governments are now focussing resources on efforts to counter the persuasion of jihadists and build paths away from radicalism.

In August, Saudi Arabia announced that it was to donate $100 million to the United Nations Center on Counterterrorism, whilst Denmark has contributed $22 million to help authorities in Burkina Faso combat jihadism in the Sahel region of Africa, from which militants launched an attack on an oilfield in Algeria earlier this year, killing 39 westerners.

In 2012, the International Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism was opened in Abu Dhabi, as a forum and training centre for combatting extremism.

In the UK the government cut funding to the Prevent programme, which seeks to counter the radicalisation of young Muslims in Britain.

The new fund will provide resources to offer vocational training in areas where youth are recruited into jihadist groups, and counter propoganda through educational programmes in schools and on the internet. Its takes as its model funds that provide money for grass-roots organisations countering the spread of diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis in the developing world.