Problems and challenges in the Sahel transcend borders.Since 2012, Mali and neighbouring countries, not least Burkina Faso, have experienced one of the most severe humanitarian crises on-going in the world today. As a consequence, more than 500,000 Malians have fledtheir homes to southern Mali and bordering countries.Following the signature of a peace agreement, some refugees have started to return, but Burkina Faso still hosted, as of 31st March 2016, more than 33,000 Malian refugees, with nearly 94% of them settled in the provinces of Seno, Soum and Oudalan.
The root of the crisis arises from inter-ethnic, religious and political tensions, combined with recurrent natural disasters affecting populations already vulnerable and among the poorest in the world.
The food supply in Burkina Faso is inadequate. It remains dependent on climatic conditions, which makes it unstable with periods of abundance alternating with shortages. In areas heavily affected by drought and the food crisis, mounting tension between host communities and refugees has been reported due to competition for scarce resources.
Malian refugees in Burkina Faso are living in refugee camps as well as in spontaneous settlements. The local communities surrounding the refugee camps/ settlements in the north of Burkina Faso are largely composed of sedentary farmers. The potential for conflict between these local communities and Malian refugees is feared as refugees bring their cattle from the north of Mali increasing the already strong pressure on local resources.
In addition, Burkina Faso experienced in the last two years a civil uprising that removed from office the former president and a failed coup against the interim government. The presidential election was held in November 2015 and, if the political situation seems to stabilize, tensions persist and there is a need for remaining flexible to a possible crisis response.
Snapshot of main DRC activities
- Protection monitoring, community protection and reinforcement of early warning systems to handle protection issues.
- Child protection and social cohesion programmes in host communities and camps.
- Strengthening of partners and communities capacities in terms of protection.
- Income generation, business training, saving groups, business grants, group enterprise development and facilitation
- Hygiene item distribution, hygiene information and education, construction of latrines, installation of water points
When, where and how many?
- DRC has been present in Burkina Faso since the beginning of 2013.
- DRC target areas in in northern Burkina Faso are the provinces of Soum (Djibo), Oudalam (Gorom Gorom) and Séno (Dori) in the region of Sahel.
- DRC works in 60 communities.