The United Nations refocuses its support for the Sahel
The United Nations has reset its action plan to address the root causes of the complex crisis in the Sahel. The new UN Support Plan for the Sahel will cover the period 2018-22. During a strategic consultative meeting on the Sahel, held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 28 March 2018, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed announced five key priorities: 1) inclusive and equitable growth; 2) public good services, including access to basic services, governance and rule of law; 3) climate and energy; 4) gender equality and women’s empowerment; 5) security, including preventing violent extremism, transnational crime and human trafficking. Empowering youth will be treated as an overall priority. Mohammed regretted the lack of coherence and co-ordination among the various actors active in the Sahel. “Over the past few years, while there have been well-intended efforts, one of the main challenges in the Sahel is the multiplicity of actors and initiatives in the region, often not pulling in the same direction. This cannot continue,” she declared. She also called for changing the narrative in the Sahel and for stronger support for national and regional efforts. “That means supporting national and regional efforts, increasing our own impact and working for the coherence and efficiency of all efforts, under national leadership, for concrete and quick results.” In 2015, UN channels spent USD 2.7 billion in the Sahel.