'Sahel Action Fund' is being set up for projects, says UN envoy

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Romano Prodi

A fund is being set up to help countries in the Sahel promote development in a region plagued by a myriad of problems, including drought, hunger and conflict.

The announcement was made by Romano Prodi, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Sahel during his briefing to the Security Council on Thursday.

He said a strategy for development in the region has identified five priority sectors, namely agriculture, renewable energy for electrification, infrastructure, education and health.

Mr. Prodi said there is need to put in place a mechanism that can sustain the utilization of mobilized resources, both in money and in kind for the Sahel.

"In this regard, the African Development Bank is in the process of formalizing the hosting of an innovative fund, the 'Sahel Action' Fund. Its peculiarity is that as a start, it would use the money share of the fund as a booster to finalize the design of projects approved by the governments of the region, and implement pilot installations." (26")

Mr. Prodi noted that the Sahel has to compete with other equally serious crises in the world and will struggle to maintain international attention on itself.

He urged the Security Council not to forget the region and called on the international community to be very generous to the people of the Sahel, whom he said, remain in dire and urgent need.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’23″

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