EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs is expected to announce a €5 billion EU funding for the Sahel region for the period 2014 and 2020. Commissioner Piebalgs, is currently visiting the Sahel region along with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and African Development Bank President, Donald Kaberuka.
As Commissioner Piebalgs stated: “The Sahel is a priority for the EU where it mobilizes all its instruments to address a complex situation. We are determined to continue and increase our support to both the States and people of the Sahel. Our approach is built on the principle that security is a pre-requisite for growth – there can be no development without it.”
This €5 billion support to Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad will aim to help those countries tackle the specific challenges of the Sahel region and notably, security and stability, development and resilience. In particular, the development programmes will focus on governance, rule of law and security, delivery of social services, agriculture and food security, as well as regional trade and integration.
Helping the Sahel
The Sahel is one of the poorest regions of the world that lacks basic services, as well as proper implementation of the rule of law. Between 2008 and 2013, the EU committed €500 million of humanitarian funding for the Sahel.
The joint High Level visit, which is the first ever to include five leaders from prominent institutions and organizations that are most active in the field of security and development in the Sahel, begins today in Mali. The leaders will also visit Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, and will meet with Presidents, ministers, members of National Assemblies, leaders of civil society groups and private sector representatives in the region.