Burkina Faso is a stable country working to consolidate its fragile democracy. It is one of the world’s poorest countries, although recent economic growth has been driven by exports of gold and cotton. Because Burkina Faso is landlocked, its economy is susceptible to disruptions caused by political unrest in neighboring Cote d’Ivoire. About 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture, which can be unreliable due to poor soil and frequent droughts. Although primary education is free and compulsory, one-fifth of children are not enrolled in school, and overall literacy remains below one-third of the population. Health concerns include a lack of basic healthcare, limited access to clean water, childhood malnutrition, malaria and high infant mortality.
USAID programs in Burkina Faso focus on fighting the cycle of food shortages, expanding primary education and widening the reach of basic healthcare services.
Last updated: December 17, 2012