What are the needs?
Burkina Faso is among the poorest countries in the world with one of the highest mortality rates for children under five years old. 80% of its 18.5 million inhabitants are reliant on drought- and flood-prone subsistence farming. With a rapidly growing population and lack of access to basic services, an increasing number of Burkinabè are failing to protect themselves from hunger, malnutrition and illness.
Families who have been forced to sell their assets or incur debt to buy food on the markets or pay for medical bill have become less resilient. Structural food insecurity is exacerbated by high food prices and the recurrent indebtedness of vulnerable families.
Given the structural nature of food insecurity in Burkina Faso, the number of people requiring food assistance and nutrition care remains high. Some 940 000 people are at risk of food insecurity and close to 149 000 children under five have suffered from severe acute malnutrition.
How are we helping?
ECHO has intensified the care of children suffering from severe malnutrition, with more than 100.000 children treated in 2016. Beyond curative care, ECHO also finances activities to prevent malnutrition through community-based screening, social prevention activities and such.
In 2016, European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) supported Burkina Faso with an allocation of €21.7 million in humanitarian funding. In 2017, ECHO continues to support food and nutritional assistance, assist refugees and respond to other humanitarian crises. A new program has been launched for the Eastern region and the Sahel to address Disaster Risk Reduction.
In an effort to stop the endless cycle of food crises, the European Commission is making strides in linking its humanitarian emergency assistance with its development aid. The Commission has also been a driving force behind the creation of the Global Alliance for Resilience Building, also known as AGIR. It brings together 17 West African countries as well as donors and the aid community in a joint effort to end hunger by 2032.
Priority will be given to the scaling up of nutrition care for severely malnourished children, food assistance and livelihood support via cash transfers or vouchers. One aim is to promote the creation of seasonal safety nets to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable families.