Humanitarian Action for Children 2018 - Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is affected by seasonal and chronic vulnerabilities including floods and droughts, as well as the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the Sahel region. More than 870,000 people, including 487,000 children, will require humanitarian assistance in 2018.2 Most of those in need will be food insecure. The ongoing nutrition crisis has been aggravated by chronic droughts, particularly in the Sahel, East and North regions. In 2018, an estimated 120,000 children under 5 will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM)3 and 132,000 people will require access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.4 Dengue fever continued to affect the country in 2017, with 13,638 suspected cases, 20 per cent of which were among children under 15.5 Violent attacks by non-state entities in the Soum Province have affected 185,000 people and left nearly 5,000 persons displaced.6 Due to the repeated attacks targeting schools, 580 schools were temporarily closed between March and September, and more than 80,000 students (38,582 girls) lack access to schooling.7 Burkina Faso is also hosting some 25,000 registered refugees from Mali, 64 per cent of whom are children.8
To promote resilience in Burkina Faso—a pilot country for the United Nations Sustaining Peace Initiative—UNICEF will combine emergency preparedness and response with community-based development interventions. Implementation of the Safe Schools Strategy will continue, as will the provision of temporary classrooms and school materials to children affected by the security crisis in the Sahel. Radio-based education will be piloted to enable students to continue their schooling from home when schools are closed. UNICEF will rehabilitate water points to increase access to water for affected populations, provide sanitation facilities and health and hygiene supplies, and strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector coordination. Community-Led Total Sanitation and WASH in schools will be implemented in communities to increase the resilience of local populations in high-risk zones. UNICEF will procure therapeutic food and support the identification of children with SAM, as well as referrals and access to nutrition services. Pregnant and lactating women with children under 2 will be reached through community-based infant and young child feeding programmes to prevent malnutrition. UNICEF will continue to provide a package of child protection services, including case management for the most vulnerable children and specific support for unaccompanied and separated children and children affected by gender-based violence.
Results from 2017
As of 31 October 2017, UNICEF had US$1.8 million available against the US$8 million appeal.9 Although UNICEF surpassed its education and child protection targets, lack of funding and access constraints impeded WASH and nutrition activities.10 UNICEF provided psychosocial support to 583 affected teachers and trained 16 psychologists and local social workers on stress management. This contributed to the re-opening of schools closed since March due to insecurity, and enabled nearly 80,000 children to access quality education. With the Ministry of Education, UNICEF introduced the Safe School Strategy and trained 41 trainers and 250 teachers to strengthen the resilience of 60 schools in the Sahel region. Education results exceeded the targets given rising needs related to the deteriorating security situation and increasing school closures. UNICEF provided psychosocial support to 3,365 refugee children and peacebuilding and life-skills training11 to 750 adolescents to protect against recruitment into armed groups. Child protection targets were exceeded due to underestimation of the population in need and the extension of the intervention areas from 8 to 13 host villages. UNICEF also reached over 72,000 children with SAM treatment,12 though delays in the implementation of the new community health strategy and increased insecurity impeded access to nutrition services.
In line with the inter-agency Strategic Response Plan 2018 and based on the targets for 2018, UNICEF is requesting US$31,057,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Burkina Faso. Without adequate and timely funding, UNICEF will be unable to continue its response to the ongoing nutrition crisis and its support for internally displaced, refugee and host community children, as well as populations affected by natural disasters. With recurrent attacks by extremist violent groups and the growing number of displaced persons, basic supplies and capacity strengthening to increase access to social services, including education, are urgently needed.