On 23 February 2018, the European Commission is hosting the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels, with the African Union, the United Nations and the G5 Sahel group of countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger), to strengthen international support for the G5 Sahel regions.
This group was initially created in 2014 to enhance the cooperation of its members in security matters and to address the major common challenges.
Since its creation, the European Union has cooperated with this initiative to create a strong partnership. For example, the European Commission has allocated 234 million euro in humanitarian aid to the Sahel countries in 2017.
Indeed, the Sahel region faces a number of urgent challenges such as extreme poverty, frequent food and nutrition crises, conflicts, irregular migration and crime such as trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling.
To help these countries, the European Union finances projects through different funds: including the European Development Fund, the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.