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Burkina Faso

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More than 80 percent of food that WFP distributes in Burkina Faso in a year is purchased locally. Photo:WFP/Jean Pierre Cebron
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Sahel Crisis - Burkina Faso
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Crop failures have been reported in about 40 percent of the country, with a 16 percent decline in grain production compared to last year. WFP plans to reach 1.1 million people with assistance, focusing on the four-month period (July – October) that coincides with the lean season.  Poor harvests and high food prices have brought hunger to millions of people across the Sahel region of West Africa. WFP and partners have launched a regional response to reach more than 9 million people with food assistance.  

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The humanitarian needs are huge and the time for action is now. To prevent acute malnutrition, WFP is providing special foods for the next six months to all children under the age of two. (Copyright: WFP/ Anne Poulsen) 

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 Burkina Faso is classified as both a least developed country and a low-income, food-deficit country. The UNDP 2006 Human Development Report ranked Burkina Faso 174nd out of 177 countries. Over 45 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

The country is also very food insecure with high rates of both chronic and acute malnutrition, respectively 39 percent and 19 percent. It is subject to recurrent drought and locust infestation resulting in cereal production shortfall.

WFP Activities

WFP is working to connect farmers in Burkina Faso to markets through the Purchase for Progress initiative. Learn more

The Country Programme 2006-2010, which targets the geographical areas characterised by the highest prevalence of food insecure households, emphasises partnerships with other UN and development agencies to ensure that initiatives complement each other and food aid has a comparative advantage. It focuses on:

  • adult literacy and access to basic education, especially for women and girls;
  • nutrition and health status of undernourished children aged between six months and two years, pregnant and lactating women, and people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, the latter benefiting from complementary resources from the Global Funds for Tuberculosis; and
  • sustainable livelihoods for rural populations, reducing their vulnerability to natural disasters and food insecurity.  

WFP assistance will reach an average of 380,000 beneficiaries a year in 25 provinces characterised by structural food insecurity, high rates of chronic malnutrition, low school enrolment, literacy and attendance of health facilities. Over the five-year period, food distribution will increase from an average 8,000 metric tons (MT) to 12,000m per year. More than 80 percent of the food distributed is purchased locally.

In addition to the Country Programme a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation: PRRO 10541.0 “Reversing growing under-nutrition in food insecure regions” was approved in December 2006.

A joint Government/WFP/UNICEF/FAO/WHO nutrition and food security assessment mission carried out in September 2006 identified five regions where the prevalence of under-nutrition has reached alarming levels, i.e. beyond the WHO critical threshold of 15 percent. The mission recommended that a nutrition programme including both rehabilitation and prevention activities is jointly implemented in the five regions: Sahel, north, central north, east and south-west.

WFP will provide micro-nutrient-rich supplementary food rations to 426,000 children under three affected by acute under-nutrition and to 242,500 undernourished pregnant and lactating women over a two-year period. Through this operation WFP aims to reduce the levels of moderate acute under-nutrition among children under three year old, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The programme will also provide assistance to enhance the Government’s capacity to implement the National Plan of Action for Nutrition, particularly the aspects related to strengthening household food security and setting up a nutrition surveillance system.

Threats to Food Security: 
  • Poverty
  • Low education level
  • Drought
  • Pests infestations
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legacy ID: 
Burkina Faso
Facts and Figures
Tropical; warm, dry winters; hot, wet summers
Mostly flat to dissected, undulating plains; hills in west and southeast
Food production: 
Peanuts, shea nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, corn, rice; livestock
Annual harvest: 
Not available
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Human Development Index: 
Children under weight for age (% of children under 5): 
Population undernourished (% of total pop.): 
Global hunger index - label: 
Global hunger index - value: 
infant mortality rate per 1000 live birth - 2005 UNDP : 
Crisis Active: 
No Crisis