Foreign Minister Maas on Germany’s support for the Sahel countries
The EU announced new funds totalling 125 million Euro for the Sahel countries at the G5 Sahel Partners and Donors Coordination Conference in Nouakchott on December 6 and 7, 2018.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement on Germany’s contribution:
“The Sahel region needs our support! We are setting aside an additional 25 million Euro this year for our partners’ cross-border cooperation in the region. We want to enhance stability in the region within the framework of the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. Germany is and remains a reliable partner and is assisting the Sahel G5 countries on their path towards greater security, stability and development.”
The Sahel region numbers among the world’s poorest regions and is grappling with massive socio-economic difficulties and security issues. Irregular migration, organised crime and smuggling, including human smuggling, are particularly prevalent in border regions where levels of state presence are low. Terrorist groups are apt to use these territories as havens.
Since 2014, the Sahel G5 countries (Mauritania, Mali, the Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad) have endeavoured to come up with common policies for addressing cross-border challenges. The next steps were discussed together with international partners at a meeting of the G5 heads of state and government in Nouakchott on December 6 and 7.
Germany’s Foreign Office (FFO) was represented by Special Representative for the Sahel Walter von den Driesch. The FFO is setting aside an additional 25 million Euro this year for the emergency programme to stabilise border regions in the Sahel G5 countries. This programme is being implemented via the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).
Germany’s contribution is being used to strengthen resilience and to improve livelihoods in rural areas close to borders. Furthermore, Germany is deploying the additional funds to bolster local approaches to conflict prevention and mediation with a view to strengthening social cohesion.
Germany’s support for the establishment of a common deployment force for the Sahel G5 countries (Sahel G5 Force Conjointe), which is combating terrorist networks and organised crime in border regions of the Sahel G5 countries, is thus being supplemented and strengthened.
With its additional financial contribution, the FFO is lending its support to the European response to the most urgent needs articulated by heads of government of the G5 Sahel countries