Burkina Faso

Situation Report


  • Burkina Faso is grappling with an unprecedented humanitarian emergency due to a sudden escalation of violence
  • 1.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.
  • More than 289,000 people have been uprooted from their homes. A four-fold increase since the start of the year.
  • More than 95 per cent of the displaced are in host communities
  • 2,024 schools have been forced shut, depriving over 330,000 children of education
Displacement map



Burkina Faso

Situation Report

Key Figures

people in need
people targeted
people displaced
children out of school



Burkina Faso

Situation Report






Kristen Knutson

Head of Office, OCHA Burkina Faso

Otto Bakano

Public Information Officer

Burkina Faso

Situation Report
Déplacement interne


Armed attacks and insecurity continue to affect parts of northern and eastern Burkina Faso, driving forced displacement and increasing the number of people in need of assistance and protection. By september, more than 289,000 internally displaced people are living in host communities or displacement sites in Centre-Nord, Est, Nord and Sahel regions. An average of 30,000 people have been uprooted from their homes monthly since the start of the year. More than 95 per cent of the displaced people have sought refuge in other communities and village. In fact, they are increasingly seeking refuge in or near urban centres such as Djibo and Dori (Sahel) and Kaya (Centre-Nord), and secondary displacement, particularly from Sahel to Centre-Nord is being reported.

Access to food, livelihoods and basic services is becoming increasingly difficult for both displaced and host communities. Over the month of July, there has been a nearly 35 per cent surge in the number of health facilities closed due to insecurity, from 39 to 60, depriving almost 626,000 people of access to basic health care. The revised Humanitarian Response Plan, released in August, is calling for US$187 million to provide urgent assistance to nearly 1.3 million people, including 800,000 affected by violence and insecurity. As of 29 August, only 30 per cent of the required funding has been mobilized.

The authorities and aid organizations are working to increase assistance to the displaced. Relief efforts are underway to improve food, water, health services and protection of affected civilians against abuse and violations. The National Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Council (CONASUR) is leading Government aid operations with support from NGOs and UN aid agencies.

Tensions and insecurity persist in many localities hit by the inter-ethnic clashes. The authorities, aid groups and other actors are mulling alternatives to resettle the displaced in other communities as well as peaceful and sustainable dispute resolution to eventually allow them return home.



Burkina Faso

Situation Report
shelter BFA
Photo: OCHA/Giles Clark


The displaced, majority of whom have found refuge in other villages and communities, are grappling with dire living conditions. The communities hosting large numbers of displaced people are also among the most deprived, afflicted by extreme poverty and a lack of resources. Most of the displaced are surviving in dire conditions, thronged on bare lands under harsh weather. Only three per cent of them are living in displacement sites. The accelerated displacement has quickly depleted available shelters. With all shelter supplies already exhausted, aid actors fear many will face double devastation. The authorities and humanitarian organizations may not be able to address the additional emergency needs that will arise. The plight of thousands of vulnerable people – particularly children and pregnant women – could seriously worsen. With the lean season approaching – meaning food scarcity, increasing severe malnutrition and outbreaks of epidemics – tens of thousands of people also risk sliding deeper into extreme hardship. Without immediate scaled-up assistance, the months ahead could be disastrous to many crisis-affected people. Acting now will ensure critical relief is delivered in time to the thousands of displaced families struggling to survive harsh living conditions without a roof over their head.



Burkina Faso

Situation Report
Emergency Response
Barsalogho, Centre-Nord, Burkina Faso, May 2019 OCHA/Giles Clarke
Photo: OCHA/Giles Clarke


The rise in insecurity and armed attacks has forced more than 2,024 schools (1,844 primary and 180 secondary schools) to close, depriving plus de 330,000 children of education in six regions. Some 9,280 teachers have been affected. The northern Sahel region accounts for nearly half of the schools closed.

Several schools have been torched and learning materials destroyed. Teachers have been killed and others threatened or abducted. Some school children have also been killed in armed raids. In certain localities, not a single school is functioning. The extensive disruption of learning poses a huge concern about the future of children.

The humanitarian community plans to roll out emergency education programmes for children aged 3 – 17 years among the displaced, refugees, returnees and in host communities who no longer have access to education. The programme targets around 375,000 children in the violence-affected regions and aims to provide learning materials, teacher training and psychosocial care for the children.



Burkina Faso

Situation Report
Emergency Response


The insecurity and violence has forced the closure of 60 health centres, while services in 65 others have been impaired owing to the insecurity and armed attacks. Some 626,000 people have limited or no access to health care.

Patient referrals to bigger hospitals is has become complicated due to lack of ambulances. Armed groups have seized or torched several vehicles. A such patients are forced to pay for their own medical evacuation. The situation is worsened by movement restrictions due to curfews and other security measures by the authorities in Est and Sahel regions, leaving people in insecure areas with no access to medical assistance.



Burkina Faso

Situation Report
Emergency Response
Photo: OCHA/ Eve Sabbagh


Humanitarian presence needs to be brought to scale quickly to cope with the escalating needs. Partners in Burkina Faso are striving to step up the scope and the pace of operations in support of the Government to provide life-saving services and protection to the displaced and other people in need. Enhanced efforts and coordination by all actors are required to ensure and maintain access to, and for, affected populations.

A coordinated strategy encompassing humanitarian assistance and addressing the causes of the crisis is needed to shift from delivering aid to ending need in line with the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Humanity. The creation of more opportunities for the population in terms of education, income generation and access to basic social services, with a focus on youth and women, is critical to help people become self-reliant again and prevent a further deterioration of the crisis.

The revised Humanitarian Response Plan, released in August, is calling for US$187 million to provide urgent assistance to nearly 1.3 million people, including 800,000 affected by violence and insecurity. They include communities hosting displaced people, and highly vulnerable families struggling with food insecurity and malnutrition.

In March, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund allocated $4 million to help rapidly respond to critical needs in health, protection, food assistance and water and sanitation. This year, around 687,000 people are at risk of severe food insecurity and 133,000 children are threatened by severe acute malnutrition.

Priority humanitarian response include the following:


  • Setting up temporary classes and distributing learning materials in host communities.

  • Over 5,000 displaced children in Sahel and Centre-Nord regions receiving education in formal and informal schools and temporary learning spaces.

  • Support the Government in developing an emergency education strategy to facilitate the gradual reopening of schools, including the return of displaced students.

  • Training of teachers on peacebuilding and psychosocial support.  

  • Strengthening the coordination between NGOs, UN agencies and the Ministry of Education.


  • Provision of medicines, psychological and psychosocial care for the displaced and host communities.      

  • Support the capacity building of community health workers in Sahel region.      

  • Construction of and support to two emergency health centres in Foubé and Barsalogho displacement sites.       

  • Provision of emergency kits in 20 health centres Gorom-Gorom, Thiou, Titao and Djibo districts as well as Kelbo and Arbinda health centres.

  • Around 10,000 people have received hygiene and dignity kits.

  • Distribution of long-lasting impregnated mosquito nets at IDP sites.     

  • Access to health services through the strengthening of mobile clinics, disease prevention and community health,developing strategies for the provision of sexual health and reproduction.     

  • Vaccination against measles and meningitis in IDP sites and health districts with outbreaks.


  • Screening for acute malnutrition in IDP sites and among out-of-camp IDPs.

  • 55,697 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in 2019 in the four regions affected by insecurity, accounting for 42 per cent of the 133,066 cases projected in the country in 2019

  • Severe acute malnutrition treatment has been integrated in Foubé and Barsalgho IDP site clinics.

  • Since October 2018, 42 sites provide care for uncomplicated SAM twice a month. A total of 1,270 children with MAM and 508 SAM have been treated


  • Strengthen public service infrastructure within host communities

  • In Arbinda and Foubé 93 tents have been provided to IDP families

  • Around 1,700 additional tents to distributed in conflict-affected areas

  • Essential household items, including mats, cans, buckets, kitchen sets, blankets, dignity kits, solar lamps, clothes distributed to the most vulnerable displaced households in Sahel and Centre-Nord regions


  • Training sessions on humanitarian principles, humanitarian coordination and key principles of protection underway.         

  • Support the Government in profiling IDPs (over 44,000 since the start of the year).        

  • Monitoring to detect and assess the extent of vulnerabilities.       

  • More than 30 sector leaders and aid workers have been trained.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
  • GBV assistance to 6,103 survivors Barsalogho, Djibo, Arbinda, Kelbo sites

  • Distribution of 1,500 Kits of dignity in IDP sites.

  • 85 cases of GBV were identified by social workers and given psychosocial care.

  • Training of 53 health workers, social workers and legal assistance workers on the integrated GBV management for women and girls.

  • Development of a referencing mechanism for GBV survivors

Child Protection
  • Support services for the protection of children separated from their families, suffering psychosocial distress and other forms of violence. 257 vulnerable children (157 girls) separated from their families have been identified and cared for.       

  • Establishing child friendly spaces and capacity building of partners in IDP sites and other areas providing psychosocial activities. Since the beginning of the year, psychosocial support has been provided to 3,547 internally displaced children (including 1,730 girls) through child-friendly spaces, mainly in the North Central and Sahel regions.     

  • Setting up 10 community spaces in Sahel and training of 60 mothers to care for some 3,000 children.     

  • Providing peacebuilding training.

  • 392 adolescents and young IDPs (233 girls) have participated in sessions to strengthen life skills in the Djibo commune, particularly on the prevention of family separations.       

  • Distribution of NFI to households of vulnerable children. Non-food and cash transfer assistance has been provided to 515 children (250 girls).


  • Potable water supply by drilling or rehabilitating boreholes·        

  • Distribution of jerrycans and purification tablets or direct chlorination of water at the point of supply.        

  • 65,200 IDPs and host community members benefited from WASH assistance in Sahel and North Central regions.       

  • Setting up sufficient and safe sanitation and hygiene infrastructures. 9,700 people have benefited from the construction of sanitation infrastructure.    

  • Household sensitization on water treatment and safe storage.       

  • Hygiene promotion activities and mobilising or health workers and communities/displaced persons. 55,800 people have benefited from the distribution of hygiene kits and awareness campaigns on good hygiene practices.


  • Developing early recovery strategy for the violence-affected communities

  • Establishing a sector work plan in consultation with the authorities to assist the conflict-affected populations