Countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad
Purpose: Prevent and curtail violence by strengthening the social cohesion between communities and building trust between people and their institutions
The security, humanitarian, and sociopolitical situation in the Sahel has continued to deteriorate since the 2012 crisis in Mali, with a significant increase in conflict hotspots. According to OCHA reports, more than one million people have been forcibly displaced in the G5 Sahel countries, due to escalating insecurity and armed violence. Food insecurity, weak governments, and unequal access to basic services further compound the vulnerability of people across the Sahel — especially in remote regions far from national capitals. The fear is that the situation could lead to increased inter-community tensions and erosion of social cohesion.
The Sahel is a key priority area for French development policy, and AFD has been active there for more than 40 years. The Minka Sahel Initiative was launched in 2017 as AFD’s response to the violent conflicts that threaten these countries. The Initiative enables the financing of development projects targeting the most vulnerable of populations, with the specific objective of conflict prevention and recovery.
- Ensure fair and inclusive access to natural resources and essential services
- Promote socioeconomic insertion of vulnerable groups
- Support fair, transparent and citizen-centered institutions
- Gain a better understanding of the conflict dynamics at play so as to help address the root causes of crises
- Prioritize an integrated and partnership-based approach, in connection with humanitarian and development actors, especially members of the Sahel Alliance
- Adopt a regional approach to address trans-border risk factors
- Rebuild trust via projects with short-, medium-, and long-term impact
- Ensure conflict-sensitive project design as well as monitoring and evaluation
- Strengthen project flexibility to factor in volatile contexts
- People living in zones affected by or at risk from violent conflict
- The most vulnerable groups (youth, women, internally displaced and host communities, marginalized groups)
- Actors for positive change within public institutions and civil society