The humanitarian situation is deteriorating quickly and severely in Burkina Faso, a fragile country among the 10 poorest in the world. The internal conflict has intensified, spreading across northern, western, eastern, and into southern regions of the country. The armed violence has caused massive population displacements, while civilians are increasingly targeted. A state of emergency remains in 14 out of the 45 provinces in the country.
What are the needs?
Conflict affects most of the regions in Burkina Faso, especially to the north and northwest of the country, close to the border with Mali. There has been a more than a hundredfold increase in the number of internally displaced people since 2018, when the conflict between non-state armed groups and state forces escalated and intercommunal attacks increased. In 2019, violent attacks claimed almost 2,190 lives, 60% of whom were civilians.
The widespread violence affects people’s livelihoods. Access to fields and markets is becoming even more challenging, meaning families cannot always meet their food needs. Both internally displaced people and refugees heavily depend on humanitarian aid as they have lost their means of subsistence.
Conflict has also hit hard educational and health facilities. While all schools are now closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, even before, more than 2,500 schools were closed due to insecurity, leaving some 350,000 children without access to education. Health facilities are under threat, with more than 294 local health centres either closed, restricting access to healthcare to 1.1 million individuals, or operating at a minimum service.
The coronavirus pandemic is an additional challenge to the already fragile health system in the country.
The volatile security situation makes it increasingly difficult for humanitarian workers to access the people most in need, only worsening needs in these hard-to-reach communities.