Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf

Burkina Faso

The Situation

ALERT: A rise in armed conflict, deteriorating security, widespread poverty and warmer temperatures are threatening the lives of millions of people across the Central Sahel – comprised of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. WFP is on the ground right now providing lifesaving food. See the full scale of the operation here.

Burkina Faso is a semi-arid Sahel country, with a population of approximately 18 million. Almost half (40 percent) of its population lives below the poverty line. The majority of the population depends on one season of rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods, leaving the country vulnerable to climate shocks. Women, boys and girls under five and elderly continue to be most affected by persistent food and nutrition insecurity, especially in rural areas.

In 2021, 2.9 million people are expected to be hungry during the summer months. Of those 2.9 million, 1.1 million people have been displaced from their homes because of conflict. WFP is working to reach 2.5 million people with assistance this year.

While progress has been made to decrease undernutrition and food insecurity and increase access to education, further efforts by the Government and its partners are still required. National and regional insecurity, including the ongoing conflict in northern Mali, threaten political stability and economic development in Burkina Faso.

WFP's Work

WFP has present in Burkina Faso since 1964. All activities are carried out in cooperation with the Government. The overall objective of the Country Program is to ensure food and nutrition security for rural populations, particularly women and children, in the context of climate change and increasing household poverty. In 2019, the three components aimed at improving primary education, health, agricultural and gender indicators:

  • Support to primary education: WFP provided daily school meals to 132,000 children in 955 primary schools in the Sahel region and take home rations to 11,125 girls in the last two years. It has contributed to the drastic improvement of enrolment, attendance and retention in the region, particularly for girls. In addition, a pilot project to introduce dairy products in school meals promotes home-grown school meals, income-generating activities for women and development of local dairies.
  • Nutritional support to vulnerable groups: Through this component, WFP provides food and nutritional support to 12,000 people living with HIV and AIDS orphans as well as Super Cereal Plus rations to 10,000 children in the Sahel region to prevent stunting.
  • Promotion of agricultural value chains: WFP promotes the development of agricultural value chains by prioritizing local purchases of food from Purchase for Progress (P4P) wherever possible. P4P works with 30,000 smallholder farmers and processors in building their production capacities and improving the quality of their products in order to sell to institutional markets, such as WFP. The Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation aims to assist 1.1 million people at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition from July 2015 to June 2017. The project is aligned with the harmonized framework and annual support plan for vulnerable populations. It enables WFP to continue its assistance for vulnerable populations and provide a basis for sustainable development in future Country Programs through the following activities:
    • Food and nutrition assistance to Malian refugees: In collaboration with the government and other partners, WFP provides assistance to 32,000 Malian refugees residing in two camps in the Sahel region in Burkina Faso.
    • Treatment and prevention of malnutrition: WFP provides treatment of moderate acute malnutrition to 348,100 children under five and 124,000 pregnant and nursing mothers in seven regions with the highest levels of undernutrition and food insecurity. Additionally, 21,000 caretakers of children receiving in-patient care at therapeutic feeding centers for severe acute malnutrition receive take-home rations. To prevent acute malnutrition, 156,000 people in three regions with the highest levels of undernutrition will receive rations of Super Cereal Plus during the lean season.
    • Food Assistance for Assets: WFP supports the creation of small-scale agricultural assets and provides training on improved agricultural techniques and income-generating activities in rural areas of six regions with high food insecurity and malnutrition. A total of 465,000 men and women receive conditional cash transfers under this activity.