Sahel 'strategic' region for Italy

Sahel 'strategic' region for Italy

Photo: Jane Hahn for the Washington Post

Africa's Sahel region is "strategic" for Italy, Italy's deputy foreign minister Emanuela Del Re tweeted on Monday, ahead of a visit to Niger.

"The Sahel is strategic for Italy. Tomorrow I will travel to Niger with an Italian air force plane bringing humanitarian aid to the population, which has been severely affected by flooding," read the tweet.

During her visit to Niger, Del Re will hold talks with the country's foreign minister and with Niger's authorities who are handling the aid, the tweet added.

Flooding has wrought havoc across swathes of west and central Africa in recent months, affecting around 1.7 million people with many regions recording once-in-a-lifetime rainfall levels. Dozens have been killed and hundreds of thousands have had to flee their homes in Niger alone.