MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –
Source: IMF in French
October 8, 2020
Text prepared for the intervention
First of all, let me thank you all warmly for participating in this important meeting. We had the opportunity to hear many of the most interesting thoughts from high level speakers from across the Sahel and beyond who showed that we are all committed to supporting this vital region.
When I think of the future of the Sahel, a saying comes to mind: “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children ”.
Those who live in the countries of the Sahel today are grappling with desert and drought, hunger and violence, economic insecurity and, currently, a devastating pandemic. But the actions we take today will determine whether or not the future is brighter for the next generation. And knowing that more than 64% of the Sahel’s population is under 25, urgent action is needed.
So what should be done to end the crisis and build a better future for the Sahel?
First, to strengthen international cooperation in order to help stem the security crisis in the Sahel. Countries need to re-commit to coordinated and effective action.
Second, consolidate the foundation for success in each country. If we want the measures taken to defuse the security crisis to succeed without crowding out other urgent spending and harming the most vulnerable, it is imperative that the fundamentals be consolidated. It is possible for national authorities to improve the transparency of public expenditure, including security expenditure, to strengthen social protection systems and to increase their domestic revenues.
Third, to gain more support from external partners. Given the scale of needs in the Sahel, national efforts will not be enough. External partners have already provided direct security and financial assistance to the region and facilitated the creation of the G5 Sahel and the Alliance for the Sahel. But a lot remains to be done. We all, including the IMF, have a vital role to play in helping the countries of the Sahel. Budget support, particularly in the form of grants, will be particularly important.
Fourth, improve resilience. COVID-19 is not the first shock the region is facing. And it won’t be the last, especially with the climate crisis looming on the horizon. Even as we respond to immediate and urgent needs, we must understand that to build a better future, it is also necessary to build resilience to future shocks. This will require investing in people, building human capital, expanding access to digital technologies and supporting public health systems.
I would like to conclude with a message of hope and responsibility. I follow with great interest the Great Green Wall initiative, which aims to erect a plant wall across the Sahel stretching 8,000 kilometers between two oceans. If the project is successful, the wall would be the largest living structure on the planet.
This initiative iconically shows that it is possible to build a better future, to leave the world we borrow from our children in a better condition, more sustainable and more united. If we work together, I firmly believe that we will be able to give the Sahel a better future.
IMF Communications Department
PHONE: +1 202 623-7100 EMAIL: MEDIA@IMF.org
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.