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European Commission - Fact Sheet

The European Union's partnership with the G5 Sahel countries

Brussels, 6 December 2018

Today the EU announced additional funding of EUR 125 million for the G5 Sahel countries at the Partners and Donors Coordination Conference organised by the G5 Sahel in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

What does the EUR 125 million announced in Nouakchott cover?

The European Union's commitment is in response to the development and security priorities of the G5 Sahel, as set out in the Priority Investment Programme (PIP).

This response takes the form of the ‘Emergency programme for the stabilisation of the G5 Sahel border areas', provided with EUR 70 million (including EUR 3 million in technical assistance) financed under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. This programme has been designed to respond specifically and rapidly to the needs expressed by the G5 Sahel. It will improve the living conditions of people in cross-border areas by ensuring better access to water and sanitation, by building the resilience of agricultural communities to food insecurity, and through conflict prevention measures. This measure forms part of the Sahel Alliance. It is to gather further contributions from the members of the Sahel Alliance.

The EU will also fund a programme to improve access to electricity in Niger, especially in rural areas. This programme will be provided with EUR 18 million under the Africa Investment Trust Fund (AITF).

The remaining funds will go to measures to build the capabilities of the G5 Sahel, ensure respect for human rights, improve governance and strengthen judicial systems and security capabilities.

What are the main areas of EU support to the G5 Sahel countries?

The EU supports the G5 Sahel countries in three main sectors:

Political partnership: The EU is an important political partner to the G5 Sahel countries. EU-G5 dialogues are held regularly to strengthen cooperation in areas of common interest such as development, security, migration, counter-terrorism, youth employment and humanitarian aid.

Development cooperation: The EU and its Member States are the main donors in the region, to the tune of EUR 8 billion for the period 2014-2020, half of which comes from the EU institutions. The EU uses all the tools at its disposal to support development efforts in the region, including the European Development Fund, the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, loan-grant blending, and guarantee mechanisms to promote investment. The EU is also a member and main supporter of the Sahel Alliance, launched in July 2017 to increase the effectiveness of development aid in the region by making interventions more effective and better coordinated.

Support for security: The EU has already provided EUR 100 million to support the operationalisation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which aims to improve security and to counteract terrorist groups. The EU has itself deployed three operational missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy: EUCAP Sahel Niger, EUCAP Sahel Mali, and EUTM Mali.

EU support by G5 Sahel country:

Burkina Faso

  • European Development Fund: EUR 628 million (2014-2020). There are four priority areas for action: (i) Good governance and culture, (ii) Health, (iii) Food security, agriculture, water, and (iv) Sustainable energy.
  • Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EUR 154.5 million (since 2016), as well as regional projects
  • Loan-grant blending operations: EUR 65 million
  • Guarantee mechanisms approved to date: Two projects supporting micro, small and medium-sized businesses (ALCB GP and NASA) will cover Burkina Faso
  • Humanitarian aid: EUR 6.5 million (2017)


  • European Development Fund: EUR 665 million (2014-2020). There are four priority areas for action: (i) Peacebuilding and state reform, (ii) Rural development and food security. (iii) Education and (iv) Infrastructure
  • Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EUR 196.5 million (since 2016), and regional projects
  • Loan-grant blending operations: EUR 114.8 million for the construction of road and energy infrastructure
  • Guarantee mechanisms approved to date: Three projects to support micro, small and medium-sized businesses (ALCB GP), sustainable cities (RECIDE) and development of renewable energies (DESCO) will cover Mali.
  • Capacity building in the fields of security and development: EUR 7 million
  • Humanitarian aid: EUR 34 million (2017)
  • EU CSDP missions: EUCAP Sahel Mali, EUTM Mali


  • European Development Fund: EUR 160 million (2014-2020). There are three priority areas for action: Support for (i) Rural development and (ii) Good governance and (iii) Improvement of the health system
  • Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EUR 79.2 million (since 2016).
  • Loan-grant blending operations: EUR 20.5 million for the construction of infrastructure
  • Guarantee mechanisms approved to date: Two projects for sustainable cities (RECIDE) and development of renewable energies (Room2Run) will cover Mauritania
  • Humanitarian aid: EUR 11.8 million (2017)


  • European Development Fund: EUR 716 million (2014-2020). There are four priority areas for action: (i) Food security and resilience, (ii) Support for the State in the provision of social services, (iii) Security, governance and peacebuilding, (iv) Road infrastructure to open up regions at risk of insecurity and conflict
  • Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EUR 247.5 million (since 2016), and regional programmes.
  • Loan-grant blending operations: EUR 51 million, including a contribution of EUR 18 million in the form of a grant for an electricity access expansion project (NELACEP II), signed in Nouakchott on 6 December.
  • Instrument contributing to stability and peace: EUR 6.9 million (2018-2019)
  • Humanitarian aid: EUR 42.6 million (2017)
  • CSDP mission: EUCAP Sahel Niger


  • European Development Fund: EUR 542 million (2014-2020). There are three priority areas for action: Support for (i) Food security, nutrition and rural development, (ii) Management of natural resources, (iii) Strengthening the rule of law
  • Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EUR 113.3 million (since 2016), and regional projects
  • Instrument contributing to stability and peace: EUR 22.7 million (since 2015)
  • Loan-grant blending operations: EUR 6.3 million
  • Guarantee mechanism approved to date: a project for development of renewable energies (Room2Run) will cover Chad
  • Humanitarian aid: EUR 53 million (2017)

How is the EU involved in the Sahel Alliance?

Launched in July 2017, the Sahel Alliance currently comprises 12 members: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), the African Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.

It aims to coordinate and deliver aid more rapidly and effectively in the five countries of the Sahel. Its action focuses in particular on the outermost, cross-border and most fragile areas of the Sahel.

Since its launch, the Sahel Alliance has identified six priority areas for action: (1) Youth employment, (2) Rural development, agriculture and food security, (3) Climate, including access to energy, green energy and water, (4) Governance, (5) Support for the return of basic services throughout the territory, including through decentralisation, (6) Security.

What support does the EU provide for the Sahel in the area of security?

  • The G5 Sahel Joint Force

The Joint Force is composed of troops from Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad and will operate in the five countries. The aim of the initiative is to step up security measures, particularly in border areas facing security threats, the G5 Sahel countries having set up their own regional security forces. In practical terms, the Joint Force will have standing forces deployed along the borders, capable of acting together under a centralised command and communication structure.

The EU has fully supported this G5 Sahel initiative from the outset and currently provides EUR 100 million to facilitate the operationalisation of the Joint Force. This funding is provided through the African Peace Facility and aims mainly at providing non-lethal equipment, services and infrastructure, establishing a compliance framework for respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the operations of the Joint Force, and supporting G5 Sahel governance structures in the field of defence and security.

Building on its capabilities and expertise in military planning, the EU has set up a unique coordination centre to steer the international offers to support the Joint Force. In practice, the centre works by matching donor offers to a list of needs recognised, provided and determined by the Joint Force.

  • Missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

There are currently three EU CSDP missions in the Sahel:

- EUCAP SAHEL Niger is a civilian mission supporting Niger's security institutions and forces (police, gendarmerie, national guard and armed forces) to strengthen the rule of law and enhance the country's ability to fight terrorism and organised crime. Since May 2015, its mandate has been extended to a fifth objective related to migration. Niger has opened a regional office in Agadez, with a permanent presence in operation since May 2015.

- EUCAP Sahel Mali is a civilian mission launched in 2014. It provides expertise in the field of strategic advice and training to the Malian police, gendarmerie and national guard, and also to the ministries concerned, to support reform in the security sector.

- EUTM Mali is a military training mission, launched in 2013. It advises the Malian authorities on the restructuring of the armed forces, through the training of battalions and support for defence reform. It also provides technical support to the G5 Joint Force.

Since July 2017, two security experts - one military and one civilian - have been deployed in each of the five countries of the Sahel as part of the regionalisation of the CSDP missions.



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