Increasing conflict has led to a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso in recent months, forcing people from their homes and exacerbating needs. Additionally, limited livelihoods opportunities and recurrent environmental shocks like floods contribute to hunger in the country.
• Rapidly rising insecurity, primarily in northern and eastern Burkina Faso, is prompting population displacement. As of July, there were an estimated 224,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), compared to 136,000 IDPs recorded in March. In northern areas of the country, Burkina Faso also hosts more than 25,000 Malian refugees, many of whom are seeking shelter from violence across the border.
• Overall, 1.3 million people in Burkina Faso urgently require humanitarian assistance in 2019 due to the effects of conflict, food insecurity, malnutrition, and natural disasters, a July update to the country’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan reports.
• According to a March Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis, approximately 687,000 people—3 percent of the population—will require urgent food assistance from June–August, a period which includes the lean season when food is scarcest.* Furthermore, displacement, insecurity, loss of livelihoods, and limited access to markets are driving Crisis (IPC 3) levels of food insecurity through January 2020 for vulnerable and conflict-affected households, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.
*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5). The CH, a similar tool used in West Africa, has a separate scale ranging from Minimal (Phase 1) to Famine (Phase 5).
• USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) enables the UN World Food Program to provide food assistance to vulnerable Malian refugees and Burkinabe through asset-building activities that strengthen livelihoods, in-kind food distributions, and cash-based transfers. FFP also works with the UN Children’s Fund to furnish locally bought ready-to-use therapeutic food to 19,000 severely malnourished children. Additionally, FFP partners with Oxfam Intermón to deliver cash-based food assistance to more than 43,000 crisis-affected people in northern Burkina Faso.
• To assist approximately 486,000 Burkinabe in Center-North Region, FFP recently began a long-term development activity with ACDI/VOCA. This five-year, $50 million activity aims to improve food security and resilience—the ability to respond to crises—among extremely poor, chronically vulnerable families. A central component of the USAID Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) II initiative, this intervention works across multiple sectors, including agriculture, disaster risk management, health, livelihoods, nutrition, and water and sanitation. ACDI/VOCA is building on results from its 2011–2018 development activity in Center-North.