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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Burkina Faso



The humanitarian situation is deteriorating quickly and severely in Burkina Faso, a fragile country that is among the 10 poorest in the world.

The internal conflict has intensified, spreading across all regions of the country. Armed violence has caused massive population displacements and is increasingly targeting civilians.

A state of emergency remains in force in 14 of the 45 provinces.

What are the needs?

Conflict affects most of the regions in Burkina Faso, especially in bordering areas in the north and east of the country and intensifies in western and southern regions.

More than 1.8 million people are internally displaced due to violence. A 14% increase has been recorded in the first 2 months of 2022, showing the situation keeps deteriorating at a worrying pace.

The widespread violence affects people’s basic needs and income opportunities. Access to fields and markets is challenging, and families cannot always meet their needs. In 2022, it is estimated that over 3.5 million Burkinabe will need humanitarian aid, including 3.4 million severely food insecure.

The conflict has also severely struck educational and health facilities. As of January 2022, over 3,680 schools remained closed, leaving 590,000 pupils out of school.

Almost 500 health facilities are affected by conflict, of which 160 are completely closed. This leaves over 1.9 million individuals with restricted access to health care.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an additional challenge to the already fragile health system. Other epidemics, such as cholera and meningitis, also regularly occur.

Access to people in need remains difficult for humanitarians due to the volatile security situation, further exacerbating humanitarian needs.

Map Burkina Faso

How are we helping?

In 2022, the EU will support humanitarian action in Burkina Faso with an amount of €35.5 million, including funding to address (i) food insecurity and malnutrition; (ii) protection; (iii) health; (iv) nutrition; (v) shelter; (vi) water, sanitation and hygiene; (vii) education; and (viii) disaster preparedness activities.

EU humanitarian aid focuses on supporting internally displaced people and host populations affected by the ongoing armed conflict.

The aim is to address the affected populations’ needs, supporting the operations to enable partners to operate in a complex environment. We also aim to build the capacity of local organisations to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies.

Uprooted Burkinabe people and host communities receive food assistance, shelter and basic essential items. Our priority is also to improve access to health care and mental health support to help people overcome the trauma of conflict.

EU support provides education in an environment where schools have closed and teachers and students face threats from armed groups. Protection is mainstreamed in all funded actions.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, EU-funded humanitarian projects were adapted to help beneficiaries and ensure staff stay safe. Actions already focused on the health sector and providing access to clean water and sanitation are taking into account the new needs brought about by the pandemic, in line with the country’s COVID-19 Response Plan.

The EU supported the World Health Organization’s programmes on early detection and response, providing adequate expertise on the ground. We also supported vaccination via UNICEF.

EU humanitarian aid funds the delivery of emergency food assistance during the lean season – the crucial period of the year between harvests, normally running from June to September, when food reserves are depleted. At the same time, assistance provides free nutritional care for malnourished children under 5 years old.

We are also supporting actions on disaster risk reduction. Ongoing programmes include increasing communities’ preparedness to face health risks and strengthening the national response system to prevent and manage food and nutrition crises.

To reinforce people's ability to cope with crises, the EU links its humanitarian emergency assistance with its longer-term development cooperation.

In this respect, EU development assistance in Burkina Faso supports a national programme to provide free health care for children under 5 years old. This ensures that life-saving interventions addressing malnutrition are maintained, beyond the immediate, short-term emergency measures funded by humanitarian aid. 

In addition, the European Commission is providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems.

At least €10 million of this funding will be supporting vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable in West and Central Africa.

Last updated: 29/03/2022
Picture: © WFP/Eugene Kabore, 2020

Facts & figures

3.45 million people estimated to need emergency food assistance during the 2022 lean season, a 323% increase compared to the 2015-2021 average (Cadre Harmonisé, March 2022).

More than 1.8 million internally displaced people (CONASUR, February 2022).

38,000 Burkinabe refugees and asylum seekers across the region (UNHCR, July 2021).

Hosting 25,000 refugees, mainly from Mali (UNHCR, February 2022).

More than 179,000 malnourished children required life-saving treatment in 2022.

EU humanitarian funding:
€35.5 million in 2022
€188 million since 2014