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Security conditions in the Sahel are rapidly deteriorating. Since 2016, the region has witnessed a16-fold increase in terrorist attacks. In Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, 10.5 million people are facing starvation, and with climate-related disasters increasing and intensifying in the region, food insecurity is projected to rise. Against this backdrop, rapid population growth is outpacing governments’ ability to provide access to basic services. These pressures have transformed the central Sahel into the epicenter of a forced displacement crisis, with dire long-term and global humanitarian consequences that reverberate well beyond the region’s borders.

The Wilson Memo, "Converging Risks: Demographic Trends, Gender Inequity, and Security Challenges in the Sahel," summarizes key findings from a recent Wilson Center's policy brief and was informed through conversations held with Congressional Staff. The memo examines the converging security challenges currently facing the Sahel region, and explains how investing in girls' education and voluntary family planning can enable a "demographic window" and contribute to overall regional stability. It further provides insight on how the United States can build upon its prior investments in the region and take a leadership role in encouraging the international community to leverage contributions towards increasing investments in women and girls.  

Read the full memo by clicking the download link above. 

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