UN and World Bank chiefs to visit SahelListen /
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the World Bank Dr. Jim Yong Kim will travel to the Sahel region of Africa next week.
The announcement was made by the two leaders at a joint press conference on Friday in which the head of the World Bank participated via video link.
Secretary-General Ban said they will be joined by Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the trip which will start in Mali and continue to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.
"The Sahel is one of the most impoverished and fragile places on the planet. At this time last year, Mali was in crisis. Since then, our collective efforts have helped not only improve the political and security situation in Mali but also address some of the broader challenges in the Sahel. The time is ripe to build on these gains." (24")
Mr. Ban pointed out that more than 11 million people in the Sahel are food insecure and five million children under five are at risk of malnutrition.
The region, he added, is awash in weapons and highly vulnerable to terrorist and criminal networks.
He stressed that "the challenges in the Sahel respect no borders" and neither should the solutions.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.