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Responding to the Expansion of Crises in the Sahel and Strengthening Joint Initiatives – Focus of the 14th Operational Steering Committee Meeting

The presentations and discussions focused in particular on strengthening partnerships and co-financing between the members of the Sahel Alliance in order to remain committed to the people of the Sahel. A progress report was presented on the joint initiatives identified by the Sahel Alliance in line with the strategic priorities decided at the Nouakchott General Assembly on education, resilience to shocks and territorial development.

Common key messages were adopted to support national adaptive social protection systems. In particular, IFAD presented the prospects for scaling up the Sahel Joint Programme in response to the challenges of COVID-19, conflicts and climate change (SD3C supported by several SA members) to consolidate the livelihoods of small-scale producers, in particular women and young people living in the cross-border areas of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal. The World Bank proposed a new instrument that could be used to support these initiatives: the trust fund for the Sahel and coastal countries.

One session was dedicated to the challenges arising from the expansion of the Sahelian crises, reaffirming the need to pay greater attention to the border areas of the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea, which are increasingly exposed to insecurity and the influx of refugees. The members of the Alliance, who are already heavily involved in these regions in prevention programmes and programmes to strengthen social cohesion, have recognised that, in this context, boosting coordination efforts for large-scale, high-impact responses is in line with the ethos of the Sahel Alliance. Several options and work paths were discussed and a working group was created to prepare a detailed proposal in the coming weeks.

Ousmane Diagana, Chairman of the Sahel Alliance Operational Steering Committee

This 14th CPO was an opportunity to discuss the objectives of the next General Assembly, to be held on 15 and 16 July 2024 in Berlin, and to listen to the expectations of Alliance members. The importance of reporting on the achievements of the Sahel Alliance since the last Assembly in Nouakchott and of finding ways to promote a partnership dialogue were underlined. The suggestion to organise a session dedicated to Sahelian civil society was warmly welcomed.

A review of activities by the Coordination Unit put into perspective the preparation of the Sahel review, the outputs produced or expected in terms of monitoring and evaluation, and the preparation of a capitalisation workshop on the integrated territorial approach. A decision note on the Sahel Alliance’s new communication strategy and its 2024 plan was adopted.

Finally, after consultation and in compliance with the rules governing the operation of the Sahel Alliance, all members agreed that Germany and the World Bank, which lead the GA and the CPO respectively, should have their mandates renewed for a further year.

Pictures: Aude Rossignol / Alliance Sahel

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