UN, EU pledge $8.25 billion to Africa's Sahel

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Associated Press

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 12:03 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The World Bank and the European Union are pledging $8.25 billion to boost economic growth and fight poverty in Africa's Sahel region.

The announcement came Monday in a trip to the Sahel by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The EU is donating $6.75 billion over seven years. The World Bank is contributing $1.5 billion over two years.

The visit began in conflict-torn Mali and continues to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

The Sahel, the north African region stretching from Mauritania to Eritrea, has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade.

More than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five risk of acute malnutrition. Coups, terrorist acts and organized crime threaten the region's stability.

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