USA Vice President Kamala Harris Pledges $100m to West Africa Nations fight Extremist Threat

USA Vice President Kamala Harris announced Monday that the U.S. will provide $100 million over 10 years in new security aid to help West African countries fend off threats posed by terrorist and extremist groups, including al Qaeda, that have been expanding in the region.

The bulk of the money-at least $86 million-will be provided over the next three years to Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Togo, according to the Biden administration.

The funds “will address security governance and development issues in the region,” Ms. Harris said in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, her first stop on a three-country Africa trip.

The money is part of a 10-year commitment by the Biden administration to help combat extremism, including by strengthening civil society, improving local government responses and strengthening security forces. The funds don’t require congressional action.

“We want to be in a position to resolve our own security problems ourselves,” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. Islamist militants carried out 2,735 attacks in the Sahel region last year, an increase by nearly 25% over the previous year, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a U.S.-based nonprofit violence-monitoring organization, as analyzed by the Pentagon’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Ghana reported no attacks, but nearly half of the attacks reported were in neighboring Burkina Faso. 

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