USAID to step up presence as instability grows in the Sahel
In a hearing before a US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, officials from both the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) spoke to the deteriorating security situation in the the Sahel. According to officials, both humanitarian and development assistance are critically required in the region, but the presence of armed groups have made access to assistance more difficult.
USAID notes that the number of displaced people has increased, with now there being more than 270,000 refugees and 900,000 internally displaced people in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. According to an official from the USAID African Bureau, USAID is stepping up its presence and is working with their partners on three priority issues including “countering violent extremism, building citizen responsive governance, and strengthening resilience" in the region.