Since the beginning of 2018, Burkina Faso has been facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. The rapid deterioration of insecurity has resulted in the displacement of nearly half a million people. Difficult field access, the destruction of production infrastructures, livestock loss and looting, as well as the intensification of intercommunal conflict, hinder market functioning and led to the deterioration of households’ livelihoods.
Agricultural activities have decreased by 20–70 percent in crisis-affected areas, where there is a 50-percent drop in land cultivation compared with 2017/18. In hosting areas, competition for natural resources is exacerbated by high population concentration, affecting social cohesion and the sustainability of these resources, particularly during the dry season. Displaced and host populations are therefore at risk of facing food shortages and increased prices of staple foods.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), together with their partners have been providing an immediate response to the most vulnerable households through food assistance and agropastoral production support. In view of growing insecurity and population displacements, the two agencies are working closely with the ministries associated with the food security and nutrition sector (agriculture, animal health, environment and humanitarian action), in order to invest in agricultural and livestock production, which is essential to prevent a further deterioration of the crisis. Until the end of 2019, the priority is to support vulnerable pastoralists and agropastoralists through market gardening and livestock activities during the dry season – an important opportunity to increase food production and prepare for the next rainy season.
Local authorities, including regional and municipal councils, will participate in the targeting process, monitor activities and facilitate access of displaced people to land. Under the direct supervision of FAO and WFP, Non-governmental Organizations and implementing partners will facilitate coordination, logistical support for distribution activities and the organization of beneficiary training.
Growing humanitarian needs are jeopardizing development gains and social cohesion in Burkina Faso. As the crisis has mainly affected rural areas, providing agricultural support is crucial to contribute to strengthening the resilience of affected populations.