What future for the Sahel?
In this interview by Défis humanitaires, Jean-Marc Châtaigner, ambassador and France’s special envoy for the Sahel, takes stock of the security situation in the Sahel and analyses the key challenges facing the region. This interview provides a detailed explanation of the French government’s 3D concept - diplomacy, defense and development - which Châtaigner makes 4D by adding “droit” or law and advocating for a rights-based approach. Châtaigner also takes stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Sahel Alliance, a partnership of donors active in the Sahel. Launched in July 2017, the Sahel Alliance now counts 12 members. They have pledged to spend EUR 9 billion on 600 projects in five Sahelian countries over the next four years. “I believe we are finally making the connection between humanitarian and development approaches,” Châtaigner states. Needs are now identified by target area and no longer solely defined by a project approach. This should make interventions much more efficient. “Among the pledges made in Nouakchott, some will have to be translated very quickly into projects on the ground, in particular the EUR 227 million of the emergency development programmes; otherwise, we will have lost a decisive battle”, Châtaigner concludes.