Burkina Faso


Operation: Opération: Burkina Faso



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
100% of the refugee population had access to primary health care
100% of targeted people of concern received shelter support
65% of children ​(2,135)  born in Burkina Faso in 2016 possess a birth certificate
2,400 registreed refugee children were enrolled in primary education
38 people of concern had their cases submitted for resettlement
17 liters of water was provided per person per day 
2017 planning figures
100% of Malian refugees living in camps will have facilitated access to primary health care
50% of school-age children living in refugee camps will be enrolled in primary education
2,800 refugee households will receive training and capacity building and have facilitated access to livelihoods opportunities

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2016 32,676
2015 34,160
2014 32,097


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Burkina Faso

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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Working environment

In 2016, the operational context in Burkina Faso was characterized by political transition and increased insecurity.
Followed by the end of political transition period, the democratically elected President Rock Marc Christian Kabore took over, followed by the appointment of a Prime minister and nomination of a new Government.
Ouagadougou, the capital city was hit by a terrorist attack in January 2016. In addition, several terrorist attacks and increase of extremist violence took place in the Sahel region. In addition, increase banditry took place in the Sahel and in Ouagadougou.

Population trends

  • More than 32,000 Malian refugees registered as of 31 December 2016, 68.2 percent of them living in the two camps in the Sahel region (21,800 individuals).
  • Some 3,000 individuals returned to Mali voluntarily, through facilitated repatriation (2,800 individuals) and spontaneous return (200 individuals).

Achievements and impact

  • the National Assembly adopted a bill on Burkina Faso’s accession to the 1961 Convention on Statelessness in November 2016
  • 9 refugees were naturalized
  • Implementation of  an energy/environment project: solar energy used to light the camps;
  • All survivors of SGBV received appropriate support;
  • The Government gave WFP and UNHCR a permission to proceed with the joint implementation of self-reliance activities, integrating both refugees and local populations in the Sahel;
  • 12 mini dairies and 5 (2 in Goudoubo, 3 in Mentao) milk distribution centers are functional and contribute to improved nutritional status of children;
  • The civil and humanitarian character of the camps was maintained despite a worsening security situation.

Unmet needs

  • Absence of certain components of the food basket, including the reduction of cash assistance due to WFP’s lack of Funds (reduction of the food basket) which affected the purchasing power of refugees. This situations caused protection issues (debts and other coping mechanisms) affecting UNHCR’s activities such as trainings in the camps;
  • Limited humanitarian access to refugees living outside of the camps, due to the worsening security situation.


The vast majority of refugees in Burkina Faso are Malian pastoralists and semi-nomadic people, who are affected by persistent droughts and seasonal flooding in the driest region of the country. The Malian refugee crisis is likely to evolve towards a protracted humanitarian situation for which basic emergency needs persist, particularly in the north of the country. 
With support from the Government and host communities, refugees have access to land and basic services, including health and education, as well as market and livelihood opportunities.
According to a recent UNHCR survey, most refugees are reluctant to return. The Office will strive to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of Malian refugees, and enhance their physical, social and economic security until conditions can be met for their safe return to northern Mali. 
The overall operational environment remains dynamic. Priorities include ensuring the protection of refugees, promoting their self-reliance and providing multi-sectoral assistance.
Funding shortfalls will affect the quality of the life-saving activities UNHCR provides. In this context, the Office has adopted a development-oriented approach to build the capacities of refugees and strengthen their self-reliance. Taking into account the increasing competition for natural resources, UNHCR will continue to pursue efforts to find durable solutions through livelihood initiatives, from which host communities living near refugee camps will also benefit.  
Ongoing biometric registration and documentation, including the provision of birth certificates, are key protection activities in 2016. UNHCR will prioritize assistance to the Government in continuing to issue identity cards for refugees.