Limited livelihoods opportunities, increasing civil conflict and recurrent environmental shocks such as droughts and floods contribute to hunger in Burkina Faso. In 2018, more than 954,300 people need food security support, the UN reports; in addition, an estimated 187,200 children under 5 years of age will experience severe acute malnutrition (SAM), according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Insecurity in some parts of the country is prompting population displacement and exacerbating humanitarian needs. In July, the UN estimated that there were 27,300 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Burkina Faso’s Center-North, North and Sahel regions. As of September, the country also hosted 24,500 refugees from Mali.
Above-average rains across most of the country will likely facilitate normal or better crop production in late 2018 and early 2019. As a result, the majority of households may harvest enough food to meet most of their needs until the June-toSeptember lean season, when food is scarcest; the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) expects that Minimal (IPC 1) levels of acute food insecurity will persist through January 2019 for most populations in Burkina Faso.* However, violence and insecurity are disrupting markets, trade and livelihoods activities in some of Burkina Faso’s northern and eastern areas, leading to Stressed (IPC 2) conditions for some families through at least January and potentially until September.
USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) supports the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to vulnerable Malian refugees and Burkinabe in northern and eastern Burkina Faso through in-kind food distributions, cash transfers and asset-building activities that strengthen livelihoods and rehabilitate agricultural infrastructure. FFP also works with UNICEF to deliver locally procured ready-to-use therapeutic food to nearly 17,000 children suffering from SAM.
FFP collaborates with Oxfam Intermón to provide food vouchers and cash transfers to 34,000 hard-to-reach and crisisaffected people in northern Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region, increasing access to food and enabling families to select the products which best meet their needs.
To assist approximately 486,000 Burkinabe in Center-North Region, FFP recently began a long-term development activity with ACDI/VOCA. This five-year, $50 million activity aims to sustainably improve food security and resilience—the ability to respond to crises—among extremely poor and chronically vulnerable households. A central component of the USAID Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) II program, this intervention works across multiple sectors, including agriculture, disaster risk management, health, livelihoods, nutrition, and water and sanitation. ACDI/VOCA is building on successes from its recently completed activity in Center-North, which started in 2011. According to assessments at the beginning and end of that program, the prevalence of childhood stunting, a manifestation of chronic malnutrition, decreased from approximately 31 to 26 percent; similarly, the proportion of participating households experiencing severe or moderate hunger during the lean season decreased from 43 to 11 percent.