Burkina Faso, civilians caught between war and food insecurity

African child African child Photo by Javier on Albumarium

20 September 2021

Local authorities and international humanitarian aid are failing at fighting Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and food insecurity.

Over 1.4 million people in Burkina Faso are currently internally displaced, states the Government’s humanitarian arm (CONASUR), with 275.000 of them being forced to flee their homes in the last 5 five months alone. Despite the alarming data provided by the International NGO Safety Organisation reporting over 480 civilians killed consequently to violence surge in the area since May, humanitarian aid response has been reportedly inadequate. 

Recently displaced families from the village of Nogo reported being attacked by armed men on the 7th of July and have now found shelter in a school in Ouahigouya. Those that survived the attacks and lost their homes are now experiencing an increasingly deadly food security problem without the possibility to come back to their village due to the fear of attacks: “We saw people coming and shooting. They came to our house and shot at our children with guns” states Rouamba, a displaced mother from Nogo village. “We fled to come here but there is no food [... ] We are thinking of going home, but we are very afraid of being killed, so we are staying for now”.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, 4.8 million Burkinabé are considered to be food insecure with around 2.9 million reportedly in acute food insecurity.

Amadou, a community chairman committee from Arbinda, is now displaced in Dori. When interviewed by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) spokesperson Tom Peyre-Costa, he expressed concern regarding humanitarian aid effectiveness:  “[... ] Every day, people come to me and tell me to ask the government for more help. We are told to be patient and that there is nothing at the moment.”. His statement doesn't strike as surprising in light of the recent report from Manenji Mangundu, Director of the NRC in Burkina Faso. In a statement to Associated Press News, Mangungu addresses the failure of both the humanitarian operations and authorities in assisting IDPs in Burkina Faso: “A critical shortage in aid funding, combined with a lack of capacity from local authorities, is preventing relief agencies like ours from responding in time”.

The answer could lay in inter-state joint action as on 07/09/2021 Malian Defense Minister Sadio Camara discussed with Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore the possibility of bilateral cooperation fighting terrorism in the area as a shared issue.










Author: Arianna Previtera

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