The World Bank and the European Union are pledging $8.25 billion to boost economic growth and fight poverty in Africa's Sahel region.

The announcement came Monday in a trip to the Sahel by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The EU is donating $6.75 billion over seven years. The World Bank is contributing $1.5 billion over two years.

The visit began in conflict-torn Mali and continues to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

The Sahel, the north African region stretching from Mauritania to Eritrea, has suffered three major droughts in less than a decade.

More than 11 million people are at risk of hunger and 5 million children under five risk of acute malnutrition. Coups, terrorist acts and organized crime threaten the region's stability.