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Burkina Faso


Click for a detailed map (PDF)

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Although Burkina Faso has begun to make some socio-economic progress, the situation of women and children has yet to show substantial improvement. The country has been forced to cope with a host of recent challenges, including a major locust infestation; outbreaks of meningitis, yellow fever and cholera; the spread of HIV/AIDS; civil conflict in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire; falling export prices; and surging fuel costs. Poverty remains pervasive, increasing the vulnerability of children.

Issues facing children in Burkina Faso

  • Only 41 per cent of births are attended by trained medical personnel.
  • The nutritional status of children under age five is deteriorating. Malnutrition is especially concentrated in the northern regions that border Niger. More than 44 per cent of children suffer delayed or stunted growth.
  • Burkina Faso is one of only 12 countries where guinea worm has not yet been eradicated.
  • HIV/AIDS continues to spread among young people. An estimated 120,000 children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
  • School enrolment rates are very low, especially among girls.
  • Almost two thirds of teens and young adults under age 24 are unemployed.
  • Many girls are still subjected to genital mutilation, a practice that causes lifelong damage.

Activities and results for children

  • National Immunization Days have achieved extremely high coverage rates for polio vaccinations. No cases of polio were been reported in 2005 or 2006 (down from nine cases in 2004).
  • The number of guinea worm cases has declined by about 50 per cent.
  • Thanks in part to UNICEF support, more than 200,000 children were registered at birth in 2005.
  • Strategies to prevent human trafficking are yielding impressive results. In 2005, 555 children were located and returned to their families. Five networks of human trafficking were identified and dismantled, and 13 suspects were apprehended.
  • In the gold mines of the Sahel district, 50 child workers were identified and enrolled in a non-formal education programme.
  • Family sanitation was improved as hundreds of latrines and sanitation systems were constructed in the provinces of Ganzourgou, Gourma and Tapoa, and in impoverished neighbourhoods of the city of Ouagadougou.
  • The government has created a Ministry of Women, signalling a new commitment to addressing the rights of women.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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