Penny Mordaunt represents UK Prime Minister at Sahel Conference
The International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has reiterated the UK’s commitment to working with European partners to support the Sahel area of Africa to fight extremism and poverty, at a major conference in Brussels today
The Sahel is one of the poorest places in the world, where over 40% of people struggle to live on less than $2 a day, and where violence, conflict and extremism are widespread
Representing the UK Prime Minister alongside world leaders including President Macron of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ms Mordaunt announced further support to help strengthen security across the Sahel, where extremist groups including Da-esh, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram often operate freely.
The Sahel area of Africa (Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso) is beset by trafficking, violence, instability and extremism – which present significant future risk to the UK. The Sahel also has the fastest growing population in the world and the humanitarian situation is acute and precarious – 21.7m people don’t have reliable access to their next meal.
As announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and President Macron of France at the UK-France Summit last month, the UK is providing £50m of lifesaving UK aid to the area, three chinook helicopters for strategic airlift and considering options to enhance UK diplomatic presence in the Sahel – in order to tackle significant future threats.
The additional support announced today will help improve the accommodation of Niger’s army, who are currently living in tents while tackling armed groups along the border with Mali, and will contribute to emergency medical evacuation airlift provision.
The International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
"The Sahel is one of the poorest places in the world, where over 40% of people struggle to live on less than $2 a day, and where violence, conflict and extremism are widespread."
"It’s essential we act now with our European partners to help the Sahelian nations build security and stability, while continuing to deliver emergency humanitarian aid to those in desperate need."
"By helping to keep hundreds of thousands of people safe from starvation and harm, we are tackling the causes of both migration and terrorism, to keep Britain safe."
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department for International Development (DFID).