2.5 million people displaced in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali

Women in Burkina Faso Women in Burkina Faso © Africa12 on Pixabay

14 January 2022

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) calls for action to mitigate the surge in violence and extreme insecurity in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali

During the last press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Boris Cheshirkov, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson, called for international action to stop the violence surge in the Sahel region, addressing the increasingly concerning issue of internal displacement in the area. Last year saw the humanitarian situation in the region deteriorating significantly. “Internal displacement has increased tenfold since 2013, from 217,000 to a staggering 2.1 million by late 2021” stated Cheshirkov, with around 800 deadly attacks reported and 500,000 people being uprooted following an unprecedented escalation in armed conflict. 

While insecurity remains the main cause for concern, the crisis must be fought on multiple fronts. The surge in gender-based violence and violence on children puts the two categories in a position of extreme vulnerability. Moreover, the Sahel region reportedly suffers a rise in temperatures 1.5 times faster than the global average, making climate change another contributory factor of instability in the area. Last year the Central Sahel UNHCR did not receive over a third of the funding needed, and in 2022 the agency will need $307 million to properly tackle the crisis. 

“UNHCR is leading the joint efforts of UN agencies and NGOs to provide emergency shelter, manage displacement sites and deliver vital protection services”, according to the words of the UNHCR’s spokesperson, stressing the need for international cooperation in tackling the ongoing crisis in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. 

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Author: Arianna Previtera; Editor: Jasmina Saric



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