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Burkina Faso Is Experiencing an Unprecedented Humanitarian Crisis

burkina faso

An unprecedented humanitarian crisis is taking place in West Africa. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is sounding the alarm. According to the WFP, the humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries in the central Sahel region of West Africa is worsening.

The main causes would be widespread violence and the long-term impact of climate change.

The Situation in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is experiencing a dramatic crisis, which has disrupted the lives of millions of human beings. Almost half a million people have been forced to leave their homes.

In addition, one third of the country is now a war zone,” said David Beasley, Executive Director of WFP. “According to our field teams, malnutrition rates are well above the emergency threshold. It means that young children and mothers who have just given birth are particularly at risk. If the world really wants to save lives, now is the time.”

There has been a sharp increase in violence in Burkina Faso. In the first half of 2019, there were more attacks than in the whole of 2018. The civilian casualties were four times higher than in 2018 as a whole. Increasing levels of insecurity led to school closures and farmers leaving the fields in search of safety. This is a major problem for a country where four out of five people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The impact on the 20 million people living in conflict areas in the region is dramatic. In Burkina Faso alone, at least 486,000 people had to leave their homes. In the three central Sahel countries, 860,000 people are now displaced and 2.4 million are in need of food assistance. The figure may also increase due to continuous displacement.

The Plan of WFP

WFP and other humanitarian agencies are facing the growing crisis at a time when funding for relief operations is scarce and new resources are needed to meet increased needs. It is therefore necessary to respond to immediate humanitarian needs and, at the same time, to safeguard the investments made in the resilience and self-sufficiency of communities. Only in this way, in fact, will the progress made in recent years not be frustrated.

WFP has already strengthened its response. In fact, this year, it has provided food and nutrition assistance to more than 2.6 million people in the three countries of the Central Sahel. It has focused its efforts on areas with the greatest humanitarian needs and population displacement.

However, this is not enough. WFP urgently needs $150 million for operations in the three countries affected by the crisis. In this way, it will be able to finance both emergency and resilience building activities.

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