© UNICEF Burkina Faso/2009/Tarpilga

A girl who was displaced by floods in 2009 eats ready-to-eat therapeutic food in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital. Entrenched poverty, flooding and epidemics continue to challenge the country, despite a recent decline in global acute malnutrition rates.

Children and women in crisis

Burkina Faso’s systemic poverty and paucity of resources have made responding to recent catastrophic flooding and virulent epidemics all the more challenging. Unprecedented floods in Ouagadougou in September 2009 and subsequent torrential rains and flooding in many parts of the country from July through September 2010 affected several hundred thousand people. The flooding dramatically increased the risk of disease and undernutrition. Outbreaks of meningitis resulted in 5,980 cases in the first half of 2010, and 40 per cent of those affected were children under age 5.1 While the prevalence of global acute malnutrition in Burkina Faso was reduced from 21.2 per cent in 20032 to 11.3 per cent in 2009,3 the country is still considered to be at emergency undernutrition levels.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

UNICEF, together with a number of partners, including the Government of Burkina Faso and non-governmental organizations, will focus on assisting the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people in the rural areas that have been hard hit by drought, floods and disease. UNICEF expects to reach around 150,000 people living in emergency conditions in 2011, including 80,000 children.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

By late 2010, UNICEF had helped make significant achievements in a vulnerable population’s nutrition status, access to health services, sanitation and hygiene, as well as improvements in the education and the welfare of children. Some 21,600 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition in the first half of 2010, compared with 26,000 in all of 2009. A vaccination campaign successfully immunized 678,000 people at risk for meningitis. The construction of six new water points provided 1,800 people in relocation areas with drinking water; 1,000 families benefited from better sanitation and from services promoting healthier hygiene behaviour. Education relief and assistance has reached nearly 15,000 children. UNICEF established psycho-social support services and child-friendly spaces that reached 3,800 vulnerable and affected children, adolescents and women. These are only a few of the results achieved during 2010.

Funding requirements for 2011

UNICEF is requesting US$11,480,000 for its 2011 humanitarian work in Burkina Faso in response to the high number of children and women affected by disasters and food insecurity.

More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Burkina Faso in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 or at the country office website at www.unicef.org/bfa/english.

1 National Epidemics Management Committee, Department of Disease Control, ‘Report on the Epidemiology Survey’, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 2010, p. 3.
2 UNICEF recalculation based on the Demographic and Health Survey 2003, and according to WHO Child Growth Standards.
3 Nutrition Department, ‘National Nutrition Survey’, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2009, p. 32.

UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $11,480,000