(ANSA) - New York, October 9 - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday announced the appointment of Italian ex-premier Romano Prodi as special envoy for the Sahel region in West Africa. The Sahel is a band of north African land that spans from west to east, demarcating the transition between the Sahara desert and savannas, covering parts of nine countries, including Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Niger and Chad. In a note, Ban said he hoped Prodi would help provide an effective international response to the complex crisis that afflicts the countries and populations of the region. The Sahel region currently faces a bevy of problems, from extreme poverty and hunger to political insecurity and human-rights abuses. Prodi is expected to consult governments, regional and sub-regional organizations, and various international partners to formulate shared strategies.
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di Giovanni Pastore