Deteriorating security conditions throughout Burkina Faso have resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and one of the largest displacement crises in the world. As of January 2022, over 1.7 million people were internally displaced in Burkina Faso, representing one in every 12 Burkinabé. Additionally, the ongoing conflict has resulted in limited food access, disrupted livelihoods, and hampered the provision of basic services such as education and healthcare. Over the past year, organized armed groups have initiated months-long blockades on towns that have prevented the resupply of markets, the sale of livestock, and the distribution of humanitarian food assistance, further exacerbating food insecurity for affected communities.
In addition to the conflict, Burkina Faso remains vulnerable to drought and other extreme weather events due to climate change and continues to experience economic and health challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, USAID is providing life-saving assistance to internally displaced persons, refugees, and vulnerable host community populations despite the deteriorating security situation and growing limitations on humanitarian access to populations in need.
In its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021), USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) provided more than $54.4 million in humanitarian assistance to save lives and alleviate suffering in Burkina Faso. USAID/BHA is also investing $50 million in multi-year programming designed to help people prepare for, go through, and bounce back from hardship. This is an ability that we call resilience. These hardships or shocks can include natural disasters, violent conflicts, or failed harvests. Building reliance is important because it reduces chronic vulnerability and allows for more inclusive economic growth.
Food and Nutrition Assistance
With nearly $43 million in FY 2021 funding, USAID/BHA is providing life-saving food and nutrition assistance throughout Burkina Faso. USAID/BHA supports the World Food Program and four international NGOs to provide emergency food assistance to vulnerable conflict-affected households. This assistance is provided in the form of U.S. in-kind food commodities, locally and internationally procured foods, cash transfers for food, and food vouchers.
USAID/BHA also supports the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and two NGOs to address rising levels of life-threatening malnutrition among the most vulnerable children and pregnant and lactating women by providing ready-to-use therapeutic foods to prevent and treat malnutrition, as well as offering malnutrition screening and case management services.
With approximately $3 million in FY 2021 funding, USAID/BHA supported an international NGO partner to provide essential healthcare services to populations in the regions facing the highest levels of displacement from conflict. As health facilities continue to close because of rising insecurity, USAID/BHA partners provide mobile clinic operations, disease surveillance activities, training for health workers, the delivery of essential medicines, and the provision of medical supplies.
USAID/BHA also supports a $7 million multi-year health rapid response mechanism which allows international NGOs to quickly provide basic health services to newly displaced populations, who may lack access to healthcare facilities and may not otherwise receive treatment for acute malnutrition and/or communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
With more than $2.8 million in FY 2021 funding, USAID/BHA partners with four international NGOs to support WASH activities. This includes the construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation of water systems. It also includes the management of sanitation and waste infrastructures for internally displaced persons and at-risk host communities. USAID/BHA partners also provide hygiene promotion education, hygiene kits, and activities to increase awareness of best practices to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Shelter and Settlements
Through shelter and settlements programming, the U.S. government supports the provision of safe, covered living spaces for people who have been displaced by conflict and insecurity in Burkina Faso. With more than $2.3 million in FY 2021 funding, USAID/BHA partners with four NGOs to provide shelter materials to displaced households as well as essential household items to enable them to meet basic needs in the aftermath of major displacement events.
USAID/BHA provides dignity kits, medical care, and psychosocial support services (PSS) to those affected by protection violations arising from conflict-related displacement and insecurity in Burkina Faso. Additionally, USAID/BHA integrates mental healthcare and PSS throughout its humanitarian response, aiming to prevent the exploitation and abuse of affected populations.
Humanitarian Coordination, Information Management, Assessments & Logistics
USAID/BHA supports the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Burkina Faso to coordinate between governments, the UN, and local and international NGOs. Coordination ensures the timely and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. In FY 2021, USAID/BHA also provided $1.25 million to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, allowing humanitarian actors access and providing assistance to hard-to-reach areas.