Burkina Faso


Operation: Opération: Burkina Faso



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Key Figures

2020 planning figures
300,000 newly displaced people will be registered to inform protection and assistance strategies 
130,000 persons at risk of statelessness are provided with birth and nationality certificates 
49,000 IDPs will receive transitional shelter support 
45,000 vulnerable IDPs, including SGBV survivors, identified during protection monitoring will receive financial or material support
5,000 refugees with specific needs receive cash grants to enhance their self-reliance 
2,500 refugee children enrolled in primary school 
1,500 refugees receive production kits or inputs for agriculture/livestock/fisheries activities
2018 year-end results
100% of people of concern had access to primary health care
100% of the people of concern had access to HIV services
100% of people of concern with intention to return have returned voluntarily
100% of the SGBV survivors received appropriate support
83.5% of children under 5 were registered by authorities, against 76% in 2017
20.5 litres of potable water is accessible per person per day

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 72,195
2017 26,552
2016 32,676


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Burkina Faso

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2018 {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"budget":[20.5672092,21.67917582,24.785447777,24.65099569,30.51425102,39.51088324],"expenditure":[14.06340692,14.30327322,16.88336426,13.81445085,null,null]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[20.5672092,20.97155543,24.274910527,24.14788135,18.03004102,18.49077259],"p2":[null,0.70762039,0.51053725,0.50311434,0.436361,0.379848],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,12.047849,20.64026265]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[14.06340692,14.06146278,16.55595915,13.5897168,null,null],"p2":[null,0.24181044,0.32740511,0.22473405,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

Operational Context

As many other countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso is facing enormous economic, political, and social challenges. Economically, the country is expected to show a growth rate of around 6.7 per cent according to the African Development Bank. This growth is mainly supported by mining, construction and public works, trade and agriculture. Despite this strong growth, the poverty rate remains relatively high at 40.1 per cent.  

2017 was marked by the resurgence of strikes and calls from civil society organizations for justice related to political events in 2014 and 2015. Burkina Faso’s security situation was characterized by a number of terrorist attacks in the Sahel, which has led to the internal displacement of some 14,800 people as well as the closure of schools and health centres in the Soum and the Oudalan provinces. Consequently, for security reasons, refugees who have settled outside camps will be relocated to safe areas identified by the Government of Burkina Faso, starting 2018.

Despite the deteriorating security context in the Sahel, Burkina Faso continued its efforts to facilitate, foster and preserve asylum space. No cases of refoulement were recorded during 2017. 

Population trends

During 2017, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Burkina Faso decreased from 34,200 to 24,200. This was mainly due to the facilitated voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees that has been ongoing since 2014. In 2017, approximately 5,000 Malian refugees returned to their country of origin either spontaneously or through facilitated return. This brings the total number of repatriated refugees to approximately 10,000 since 2014. 

Key achievements

The preservation of the protection space for asylum-seekers was increasingly challenged in 2017. The repeated terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, which are believed to come from Mali, led to stigmatisation of refugees who are perceived to be aligned with the perpetrators. This perception is exacerbated by the attacks against national army, particularly police forces who provide security in the refugee camps. To avoid the deterioration of asylum space due to the perception that refugees may be aligned with groups perpetrating acts of terrorism, UNHCR increased advocacy with the Government of Burkina Faso and its ministry in charge of refugee affairs to:
  • Reinforce support to the maintenance of the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps;
  • Enhance outreach to inform refugees of their rights and obligations;
  • Reinforce institutional support to the Government to improve the legal framework for asylum.
 Despite the tense security situation in the country and especially in the refugee settlements, these actions resulted in zero cases of registered refoulement in 2017.

Unmet needs

In terms of energy supply for domestic use, some 1,600 households are estimated to not have access to energy.

Working environment

Despite the signing of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in in Mali June 2015, insecurity continues to hamper conditions conducive for return. In this regard, UNHCR remains grateful to the host government for continuing to maintain an open asylum space and for granting  refugees access to local services and the labor market. Protection concerns have been raised at recent national events which mainly present the risks of ethnic stigmatization that threaten local stability in the main refugee-hosting region.
In Burkina Faso, 97 per cent of Malian refugees live in the Sahel region, the majority in two refugee camps, where they are subject to harsh climatic conditions, and where there is increasing competition over natural resources and decreasing livelihoods opportunities. 
Jointly with the hosting government and other partners, UNHCR protects the fundamental rights of and provides life-saving assistance to refugees. .

Key priorities

UNHCR will continue enhancing Malian refugees’ legal and physical protection, maintaining and reinforcing favorable asylum environment in the country, giving priority to child protection and victims of violence. In addition to pursuing durable solutions, such as facilitated repatriation, UNHCR will also gradually introduce the implementation of cash-based interventions through strengthening livelihoods projects, building the capacity and improving access to income-generating opportunities.  Among other initiatives, UNHCR will facilitate access to primary health care through its health services to reduce malnutrition rates. UNHCR will also strive to improve peaceful coexistence by granting host communities access to basic services. UNHCR intends to initiate alternatives to camps and facilitate access to primary education. Finally, UNHCR will strive to address root causes of statelessness by engaging key institutional actors at the national level.   
Latest contributions
  • 18-MAY-2020

    private donors

  • United States of America

    private donors

  • 14-MAY-2020
    United States of America

    private donors

  • France
  • 13-MAY-2020
  • 12-MAY-2020
  • Spain
  • 11-MAY-2020
    United States of America
  • 08-MAY-2020
  • Norway
  • 07-MAY-2020
    United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • 04-MAY-2020

    private donors

  • 30-APR-2020

    private donors

  • Malaysia

    private donors

  • South Africa

    private donors

  • Greece

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  • Japan

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  • Republic of Korea

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  • Egypt

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  • China

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