The crisis in Burkina Faso is having a profound impact on the lives of children and their communities. During 2019, the country has seen an unprecedented number of internally displaced people fleeing targeted violence and attacks mostly in the Sahel, Center North, North, Boucle du Mouhoun and East regions. To date, 948,000 people need protection, including more than 559,000 children (59 percent) and 765,000 people are internally displaced, including 449,119 children, a 1,200 percent increase since January 2019.1 The emergency in Burkina Faso is evolving rapidly and is affecting cohesion and social structures with more than 95 percent of the displaced in host communities. This complex protection crisis is enhanced by the unpredictable climatic conditions, food insecurity, poverty, poor livelihoods and governance, which is intensifying the internal tensions.
Children of all ages are vulnerable to psychosocial distress, separation from their caregivers, lack of birth registration, gender-based violence (GBV) including high risks of rape, sexual assault and widespread child marriage, as well as the high risk of worst forms of child labour, child recruitment by armed groups and child trafficking. Access to health care, nutritious foods, safe drinking water and other social services has been severely compromised, impacting all aspects of children’s lives – their safety, health and wellbeing. Displaced children and their families are being hosted in communities that had limited access to social services even before the current crisis, which has put a further strain on the already vulnerable population.