Dear members, dear partners,
At the end of the lean season, the crisis in Niger on 26 July and the upsurge in acts of violence in several other regions of the Sahel have exacerbated a highly fragile situation. This context, and the uncertainty associated with it, calls into question the regional dynamic, weighs on the ability to implement committed development projects and has a harsh effect on the population, particularly the most vulnerable. It calls for greater attention to be paid to developments of the humanitarian situation, in particular in the central Sahel region, as well as an in-depth examination of possible development initiatives for the direct benefit of local populations.
With this in mind, the Sahel Alliance held its 12th operational steering committee meeting on 27 September 2023 to discuss the situation in Niger together with the regional context, and to put its activities into perspective in this new context. This important moment for the Alliance saw a reaffirmation of the strategic priorities adopted by the General Assembly on 10 July. Among these priorities, the need for the countries in the region to strengthen their resilience to the various shocks is an obvious necessity. Operational implementation of these priorities is admittedly more complex in the current environment, but it is at the heart of the Sahel Alliance’s mandate to forge solutions to meet the needs of the Sahel’s populations through enhanced coordination in a constantly changing context. The debates provided an opportunity to discuss the various paths for collective action that can be considered in the short term from the angle of the triple nexus of security, humanitarian aid and development or, in the longer term, by promoting key initiatives on a selective agenda.
The members of the Sahel Alliance remain committed, first and foremost at the ground level, where the coordination platforms led by our spokespersons have adopted and are implementing action plans for each country.
In this newsletter, you will find testimonies on the activities carried out on social protection in Mauritania, the delivery of basic services in fragile areas in Mali and the essential role played by women in promoting the integrated territorial approach in the Barh el Ghazel in Chad.
I would like to take the opportunity offered by this editorial to acknowledge the commitment of the two new spokespersons for the Alliance Sahel in Burkina Faso, H.E. Kristian Kirkegaard Edinger, Ambassador of Denmark, and Mr Jan Henrik Meise, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy. They take over from Gilles Chausse, Director of AFD, whom I would like to thank warmly for leading the coordination of our members for three years in Ouagadougou.
In order to build on the momentum generated at our General Assembly in Nouakchott, the last quarter of 2023 will be rich in events, providing our members and partners with opportunities for consultation and shared reflection on the determinants and root causes of the crises in the Sahel, as well as on our ability to respond collectively to the needs of the people living there. I invite you to take a look at the agenda included as a postscript to this newsletter and, even more importantly, to take an active part in it.
I wish you a pleasant reading,
Alliance Sahel Coordination Unit