The Sahel region is facing significant security, humanitarian and development challenges. Weak state structures and porous borders have enabled Islamist terrorist groups to gain a foothold in the region. Conflicts are threatening stability in several of the region’s countries and have caused the civilian population enormous suffering. The human cost of people smuggling and irregular migration to Europe through the Sahel is huge.
Norway opened a new embassy in the Malian capital of Bamako in January 2018, as part of its intensified efforts in the region. We have already established cooperation with Mali and Niger, and a considerable part of our development efforts is concentrated in these two countries.
‘The countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions are among the poorest in the world, and they are severely affected by climate change. Unless these countries receive international support, several of them will be unable to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,’ said Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup.
The strategy has been developed in dialogue with other relevant ministries, Norwegian organisations and expert groups and international partners such as the UN, the EU, the African Union and other European countries.
Norway is stepping up its efforts in the Sahel, and today the Government is launching a strategy for Norway’s efforts in this region for the period 2018-2020.