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WFP Burkina Faso Implements New Project to Build Resilience and Reduce Malnutrition

Following the food crisis in 2012, WFP Burkina Faso has launched a new project to speed up vulnerable populations' recovery, build their resilience to future shocks and reduce malnutrition.

Burkina Faso had a better harvest this year compared to last year’s: cereal production from the 2012/2013 agricultural season was over 30 percent higher than the 2011/2012 production. However, given that the country has undergone three shocks in a span of five years including the 2011/2012 drought, the population has not yet recovered from the last food crisis; on average 1.8 million people in Burkina Faso remain food insecure . Households have difficulties accessing food due to low purchasing power (worsened by debts incurred during the crisis), low household agricultural production and difficult geographical access in many parts of the country. In 2012, the national global acute malnutrition rate (GAM) in children under five years remained above WHO’s 10 percent threshold and stunting levels are high- 33 percent. In response to this situation, WFP is implementing a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) aimed at building resilience and fighting malnutrition in the most vulnerable populations. The project is implemented alongside its Country Programme and its Malian refugee’s food assistance operation. “This PRRO is designed to both speed up the recovery process and to strengthen the resilience of Burkina Faso’s vulnerable populations through accelerated nutrition interventions, asset-creation and training activities, and social safety net interventions,” said WFP Burkina Faso Country Director, Angelline Rudakubana. The nutrition component covers 10 out of 13 regions: Sahel, Nord, Centre Nord, Centre, Est, Centre-Est, Centre-Ouest, Boucle du Mouhoun, Plateau, and Sud-Ouest. It will be implemented in 2013 and 2014 and will provide specialized nutritious foods as treatment for children aged 6-59 months with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) as well as malnourished pregnant and lactating women (PLWs) and food support to mothers whose children hospitalized for severe acute malnutrition. In addition, the programme will provide specialized foods to children 6- 23 months from the most food insecure areas to prevent acute malnutrition during the lean season. The resilience component of the operation will support the production of small-scale agriculture assets through cash for assets and cash for training activities in 6 regions (Sahel, Nord, Nord-Ouest, Est, Centre Est, Centre Ouest), to strengthen livelihoods in rural areas by focusing on soil and water conservation and rehabilitation, including the creation of stone bunds, half-moons and zai, which are all intended to retain water, protect crops from erosion, and thereby improve crop yields. For Country Director Rudakubana, WFP’s cash for assets programme is crucial for vulnerable populations. “Not only does it help households to meet their immediate needs, but it also strengthens their preparedness to future shocks, such as drought, in the longer-term”, she said. In total, WFP needs $ 50 million to implement this operation for 1,406,100 beneficiaries over 21 months.