The newly established alliance, open to all Member States, aims to enhance the stability and development of the region. With the support of the EU which is pioneering an integrated approach to address the development and security challenges of the Sahel region, the initiative will focus on rural development, job creation for youth, improving energy infrastructure and strengthening good governance and security.
"Ensuring the security, stability and development of the countries of the Sahel is in the interest first of all of the local populations but also of European citizens," Mogherini said at the Elysée Palace launch. "We are neighbours and we need to respond together to the challenges of fighting terrorism, trafficking and climate change. This Alliance will help increase, better coordinate and accelerate our aid to a region of strategic importance"
The EU provides substantial aid to the region and has three security and defence missions on the ground. A stabilisation action in Central Mali is also under preparation.
The EU supports the African Peace Facility and the UN operations in the region. The EU also works closely with the G5 Sahel to promote stability and cross-border cooperation in key areas such as migration, border management, development, youth, prevention of radicalisation, governance, security and the rule of law. The EU has provided training, expertise and financial support of EUR 50 million to a recently-established G5 joint security force.