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    Sahel nation Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno (L) pictured with France President Emmanuel Macron | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 7 December 2018

The EU has promised an additional US$142 million to the G5 Sahel's Priority Investment Program (PIP), bringing the union’s contribution total up to US$909 million. 

Africa's G5 Sahel countries, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, are set to receive increased funding from the European Union (EU) and France for various social security projects.

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"These pledges from our partners broadly cover the overall needs" of 40 development projects intended to withstand jihadist attacks in the region, the head of state explained.

"Half of this sum is for projects already planned or underway," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the conference. "The other half will be awarded quickly over the next two years to enable you to meet your priorities."

The EU has promised an additional US$142 million to the G5 Sahel's Priority Investment Program (PIP), bringing the union’s contribution total up to US$909 million. Meanwhile, France announced an extra US$250 million for the program, rounding up the country’s total to US$568 million.

The European Union and France pledge to increase their respective financial contributions to the development and security projects in the region at a two-day donor conference in the Nouakchott, Mauritanian, Thursday.

The five Sahel states have been plagued with insurgent violence and terrorist attacks since the collapse of Libya in 2011 and an uprising in northern Mali in 2012. As a result, the countries launched a 5,000-man strong joint combat initiative backed by the EU, France, Germany, in July 2017.

"Terrorism, cross-border crime, drug smuggling and lack of security in the Sahel region are attributed to injustice, marginalization, underdevelopment, absence of education and unemployment among young people," Mauritanian President Mohammed Ouled Abdel Aziz said.

PIP, which is linked to the Sahel Alliance, was launched by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, last year.

The program aims to improve economic, humanitarian and political conditions in the five Sahel states, which are located in the southern region of the African continent’s Sahara desert


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