Due to the alarming increase in tension and conflict, Burkina Faso is experiencing one of the fastest-growing internally displaced persons (IDP) crises globally, with over 1 million people displaced since 2019 – an 80 percent increase in the number of IDPs since the end of 2019. Conflict, climate change, endemic poverty and the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 are the main drivers of growing food insecurity in Burkina Faso, with around 3.3 million food insecure people  – 15 percent of the population – at the peak of the lean season (June – September 2020, when food stocks are at their lowest), and 2 million food insecure people at the end of 2020 . Humanitarian access has substantially deteriorated, limiting continued assistance to specific areas.
Given this rapid deterioration, WFP has drastically scaled up its operations over the year, despite serious operational challenges, including access and funding. In line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, WFP reached over 2 million people in 2020, predominantly in six regions (Boucle du Mouhoun, Centre-Est, Centre-Nord, Est, Nord, and Sahel), almost doubling the number of people assisted compared to 2019. WFP offered a multidimensional response in support of vulnerable populations to address immediate humanitarian needs, while preserving, restoring and/or rebuilding their livelihoods to address root causes of hunger. A response in line with the humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach. A fast-evolving situation, global supply chain challenges and COVID-19 related issues lead WFP to adapt its operations to maintain assistance to the most vulnerable populations.
As part of the humanitarian response, WFP was the main actor for food assistance and nutrition and demonstrated its leadership in the food security sector in support to the Government. WFP carried out assistance in hard-to-reach locations, despite access and security constraints which sometimes impacted the regularity of distributions. During the 2020 lean season, WFP assisted over 1.2 million people in August 2020 (compared to 237,000 in August 2019), accounting for 90 percent of the overall food security response, all actors included. Despite being forced to reduce rations from July due to limited resources, WFP substantially scaled up its support to IDPs, particularly with the use of cash-based transfers (especially from October to December 2020), introducing emergency school feeding activities for displaced and host-community children, and laying the groundwork for the introduction of vulnerability-based targeting (delayed due to COVID-19). In line with SDG 2.1, WFP ensured the continuation of moderate acute malnutrition's prevention and treatment activities, reaching over 305,000 children and pregnant and lactating women.
WFP also relied on its technical expertise – in logistics and targeting, among other areas - to support the Government and other actors in their COVID-19 response to affected populations. Ultimately, to overcome access challenges faced by the humanitarian community, WFP supported the launch of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and the activation of the Logistics Cluster in October 2020.
WFP continued to ramp up the integrated resilience-building work with communities to help them better cope with current and future shocks induced by the impact of climate change and insecurity. Over 190,000 people, including 11,000 IDPs  benefited from resilience-building activities, rehabilitating communal assets, while benefiting from complementary safety net support around nutrition, school feeding, and smallholder agricultural market support. In addition, WFP supported the scaling up of a micro-insurance project to encourage smallholder farmers' investment in disaster risk reduction activities, while helping them to protect their livelihoods and production. Furthermore, WFP continued to support the Government in the macro-insurance programme.
Strengthening government's and partners' capacities at national, regional and local levels remained one of WFP’s priorities throughout 2020. At national level, WFP supported the elaboration of capacity strengthening plans for government institutions involved in early warning and crisis response; worked with the Ministry of Education on a national school feeding policy; and accompanied the Government’s COVID-19 response. At regional and local levels, WFP focused on reinforcing local partners' capacity to implement and monitor activities.
Furthermore, WFP has increased its footprint in-country, not only operationally with an expansion of activities and operations, but also in terms of investments. In 2020, WFP procured over 70 percent of food locally, and injected over USD 61.5 million into the local economy through the use of local transporters, local procurement and via cash-based transfers.