The European Union has approved another EUR194 million [USD211.4 million] for the five Sahel G5 countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger) to boost their security, defence and development.
The funds were announced on 28 April during a teleconference of EU and G5 leaders in Brussels. EU’s Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell were in attendance.
“The serious crisis affecting the G5 Sahel and Lake Chad Basin countries could spill over into neighbouring countries and even as far as the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea,” the EU leaders said.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, president of the European Council, Charles Michel, said when briefing reporters after the meeting that the decision entails “a number of additional concrete steps to support the region to push back this terrorist threat.“
In the new financial arrangement, €112 million to help boost the security and defence capabilities of the G5 Sahel countries, while ensuring respect for human rights and international humanitarian law as well as re-establishing the presence of the state and basic services throughout the territory.
The remaining €82 million will be used to intensify development efforts and help improving living conditions, resilience and social cohesion of vulnerable populations. Borrell said, “The situation in the Sahel keeps deteriorating and the coronavirus pandemic cannot make us forget how serious the situation is in a region whose challenges are our challenges as well.