Burkina Faso Appeal
Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
Burkina Faso snapshot
- In Burkina Faso, 3.5 million people need humanitarian assistance. This includes over 1 million people who are internally displaced (61 per cent children), a 532 per cent increase since April 2019; 1 million people who lack access to health services; and 5.1 million children who are temporarily out of school due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, more than 106,000 people were affected by the worst floods in 10 years. Two municipalities have registered global acute malnutrition rates above 15 per cent.
- UNICEF will respond to the humanitarian situation in Burkina Faso by increasing its presence in the field; intensifying its community-based partnerships, particularly in areas with restricted humanitarian access; involving affected populations in identifying solutions to issues affecting children; and strengthening the linkages between humanitarian action, development programmes and peacebuilding efforts. By applying a community-based approach and working to rebuild social cohesion in Burkina Faso, UNICEF’s humanitarian response will contribute to addressing the root causes of the crisis.
- UNICEF requires US$157 million to support the most vulnerable, crisis-affected children in Burkina Faso with a multi-sectoral package of humanitarian assistance.
Key planned results for 2021
151,214 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
427,500 children and women accessing health care
660,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
504,000 children accessing educational services
Funding requirements for 2021
Country needs and strategy
The humanitarian situation in Burkina Faso is deteriorating. Some 3.5 million people need humanitarian assistance.
As attacks by non-state armed groups continue, more civilians are being targeted or threatened and humanitarian access continues to decline. As of 31 December, the country had registered 486 security incidents in 2020 (631 civilian casualties, including 31 children), which has led to new waves of displacement. As of 5 December, 1.07 million people (61 per cent children) were internally displaced, compared with 170,000 people in April 2019 – a 532 per cent increase.
The humanitarian crisis – including the COVID-19 pandemic – has limited access to basic social services. As of 25 October, 91 health centres were closed, depriving 964,235people of health services. Vaccine-preventable diseases are on the rise due to declines in immunization coverage.
Following the onset of COVID-19, all schools in Burkina Faso were closed from March until June, affecting 5.1 million children, 12 per cent of whom are living in the six most affected regions. As of 5 December , 2,169 schools were closed due to insecurity, depriving 306,946 children of their right to education. Even as schools reopen, the deteriorating humanitarian context will significantly impact the education and learning of children and their physical and emotional well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also severely impacted the country's capacity to keep water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services functional. An estimated 2.5 million people need access to safe water.
Persistent insecurity and the impacts of COVID-19 have also heightened the risks of emotional, physical and sexual and gender-based violence for children and families, while further disrupting the continuity of child protection services designed to prevent, mitigate and respond to these risks. Vital services such as psychosocial support, civil registration and support for survivors of violence have all been disrupted.
Burkina Faso was also hit with severe climate shocks in 2020, including the worst flooding in 10 years, which affected 106,000 people. These crises have led to one of the worst food situations of the last decade, with 15 per cent of the population facing crisis, emergency and famine levels of food insecurity. A rapid nutrition survey conducted in 11 municipalities hosting internally displaced persons found emergency levels of global acute malnutrition (above 15 per cent) in two municipalities and high prevalence in four communes (10 to 15 per cent).
In 2021, UNICEF will address the most urgent needs of nearly 2.3 million crisis-affected people in Burkina Faso, including nearly 877,000 children. UNICEF's humanitarian action will be guided by three strategies: (1) supporting the continuity of services; (2) accelerating service coverage; and (3) protecting staff safety, security and well-being in high-risk zones.
UNICEF will scale up its community-based partnerships, particularly in areas where the Government has suspended basic social services or where insecurity has severely restricted access to vulnerable populations. This participatory approach will strengthen the linkages between humanitarian action, development programmes and resilience building efforts.
Priority interventions will include: providing essential nutrition and health services, including via community-based health volunteers and mothers; building technical capacities in all sectors at national and subnational levels; increasing access to WASH services; facilitating treatment for children with SAM using simplified approaches; strengthening community-based early detection of malnutrition and referrals; and supporting optimal infant and young child feeding practices and the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies.
UNICEF will support access to quality education through innovative multi-sectoral approaches such as digital and distance learning and radio education programmes for the early and adolescent years. UNICEF will also strengthen its gender-based violence in emergencies programming by increasing access to specialized services for survivors, addressing social norms and mitigating risks across sectors. Other equitable child protection services will include community-based mobile mental health and psychosocial support; family tracing and reunification for unaccompanied and separated children; and reintegration support for children formerly associated with armed groups.
UNICEF and partners will be among the first responders to crises through the provision of essential household items and health, nutrition and WASH interventions (hygiene promotion, access to safe drinking water and sanitation). Access constraints will be tackled through rapid response mechanisms, community-based interventions, mobile teams and advanced strategies to ensure service continuity in insecure areas. UNICEF will also scale up cash and market-based programming where relevant.
UNICEF will increasingly implement risk communication and community engagement interventions to equip affected people and communities with knowledge and skills that motivate them to develop positive, healthy and protective practices. Feedback and complaint mechanisms will be established to address community concerns and rumours, inform decision-making about the response and ensure the integration of gender and disability considerations and adolescent development and participation.
UNICEF will lead the nutrition, WASH and education clusters and the child protection area of responsibility and participate in humanitarian coordination fora.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Burkina Faso; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.