The European Union and France on Thursday said their total investment in development funding aimed at preventing terrorism in African Sahel countries would rise to 1.3 billion euros, as the region struggles with militia and lawlessness.
The EU’s International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica told a conference in the Mauritanian capital that the bloc’s Sahel Priority Investment Programme (PIP) “now totals almost 800 million euros”, with an extra 122 million euros announced Thursday.
France will invest 500 million euros for the “priorities” of the G5 Sahel, added French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, explaining that the country will add an extra 220 million euros to the 280 million euros already pledged.
The five Sahel countries told the meeting they needed 1.9 billion euros to help them fund projects in border regions vulnerable to terrorists. They themselves provide 13 percent of that sum.
The five Sahel states — Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger — have been struggling against extremism and lawlessness along the Sahara’s southern rim since a militant revolt that began with a Tuareg separatist uprising in northern Mali in 2012.