Sahel faces poverty and conflict traps: A call for international action

, Editoriaux

Conditions in the Sahel are grim—some say emigration is the only recourse as economic, social, demographic, and environmental vulnerabilities worsen there. The Sahel—Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad—often called the “G-5” in recognition of the group set up to deal with their precariousness—are either in, or are about to fall into, poverty and conflict traps. These traps emerged following donor-led structural reforms in the 1990s when tough spending choices meant security was sacrificed for investments in education and other sectors. As a result, the G-5 and neighboring countries have edged toward “failed state” status.

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