Kaberuka and UK Special Envoy discuss development challenges of the Sahel region

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African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Donald Kaberuka, and United Kingdom Special Envoy to the Sahel, Stephen O’Brien, held talks on the Sahel region on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Tunis.

Kaberuka shared his experience from the high-level visit to the Sahel region in November 2013 and described the steps the AfDB is taking to respond to the region’s needs. The President also highlighted the Sahel Action Fund and requested that the Special Envoy encourages the UK Government to support this initiative.

“Over the last few decades, the Sahel region has been witnessing repeated climate-related crises, a source of persistent suffering and vulnerability. The population has been coping with these crises with courage and determination,” Kaberuka said.

The international community, through the UN, has asked the AfDB to host an Action Fund for the Sahel to receive resources from all donors who want to lend their support.

Stephen O’Brien said that the AfDB plays a vital role in the Sahel region. “Given AfDB’s prominence in Africa, its goals and objectives are of special significance to the UK,” he said. O’Brien also said that he looks forward “to working with the AfDB to deepen the already close relations between UK and the Bank.”