The Sahel has long been one of the most vulnerable regions in Africa. But the surge in armed violence across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is having a devastating impact on children’s survival, education, protection and development.
The sharp increase in armed attacks on communities, schools, health centres and other public institutions and infrastructure has reached unprecedented levels, with violence disrupting livelihoods and access to social services. Growing insecurity has also exacerbated already chronic vulnerabilities in the region, including high levels of malnutrition, poor access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
Close to 5 million children in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger will need humanitarian assistance over the course of 2020, up from 4.3 million in 2019. Renewed, increased and concerted efforts are needed to curb the ongoing violence and to stop it from spreading into neighbouring countries.