Burkina Faso


Operation: Opération: Burkina Faso



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Key Figures

2019 year-end results
41,500 IDPs and vulnerable host community members received shelter support
3,200 IDP households received cash-for-shelter and non-food items
100% of refugees were provided with individual documentation
83% of refugee children under 5 years old had their births registered by authorities
57% of refugees between 18-59 years old owned a business or had been self-employed for over 12 months
50% of IDPs assisted by UNHCR were provided with a valid identity document
38% of primary school-aged refugee children and 7% of secondary school-aged refugee were enrolled in education
16% of refugees with disabilities received assistance
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

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2019 585,935
2018 72,195
2017 26,552


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Burkina Faso

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2019 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[21.67917582,24.785447776999998,24.650995690000002,30.51425102,74.66074024,82.88059361],"expenditure":[14.30327322,16.88336426,13.814450850000002,20.02836585,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[20.97155543,24.274910527,24.147881350000002,18.03004102,23.78855259,49.87506018],"p2":[0.70762039,0.51053725,0.50311434,0.436361,0.379848,1.000135],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,12.047849,50.49233965,32.00539843]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[14.06146278,16.55595915,13.589716800000001,13.05374841,null,null],"p2":[0.24181044000000002,0.32740511,0.22473405,0.22207063,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,6.752546809999999,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

Operational context

The humanitarian situation in Burkina Faso rapidly deteriorated in 2019, with attacks by unidentified armed groups intensifying and increasingly affecting civilian populations. As a result, the number of IDPs increased from 60,000 in January to a total of 560,000 as of early December.

Limited humanitarian access as well as lack of funds for the humanitarian response presented major obstacles in implementing protection and assistance activities. The closure and/or overcrowding of social services in the country also exacerbated the vulnerabilities of people of concern.

Throughout 2019, UNHCR worked with the Government of Burkina Faso and other partners to continue to deliver protection and assistance, as well as to find solutions, for people of concern in the country. During the year protection monitoring and referral systems were strengthened, while regular registration and provision of documentation and identification to people of concern continued. Livelihood opportunities and durable solutions were also pursued. In June 2020, the Office declared an internal level 2 emergency to scale up its capacity to respond to the growing needs.

The Office also ensured that people of concern were included in development plans. As a result, refugees were explicitly mentioned as beneficiaries in the expanded Sahel emergency programme, the official reference document for the response to the emergency in the Sahel.

Despite growing insecurity and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis, the country continued to generously host Malian refugees. Some 730 new arrivals were registered in 2019, in addition to the over 24,700 Malian refugees already registered in the country.

Population trends

As of 31 December 2019, the population of concern in Burkina Faso was approximately 585,900, including 560,000 IDPs, 25,900 refugees (mainly Malian nationals) and 30 asylum-seekers. In addition, there were over 2 million people at risk of statelessness.

In 2019, some 900 Malian refugees returned to Mali with assistance from UNHCR.


  • UNHCR met 26% of the shelter and core relief item needs for IDPs with specific needs.
  • 90% of people at risk of stateless were identified in the census.
  • 98,000 people at risk of stateless received civil status and identity documents.

Unmet needs

With the deepening of the crisis and multiple population movements, humanitarian needs continue to grow while operational challenges, such as the shrinking of humanitarian access due to insecurity, impacted the delivery of UNHCR’s programmes. In addition, with the operation funded at only 69% by the end of 2019, some needs remained unmet.
  • The extent of sexual and gender-based violence was greater than initially estimated. UNHCR worked with partners to ensure prevention and response activities, especially for IDPs. Nevertheless, underreporting and insufficient funds for income-generating activities for survivors constituted challenges to respond to these growing needs.
  • Cases of trauma increased as a result of the crisis, requiring an expansion of psychosocial services.
  • As the security situation disrupted schooling, more refugee teachers needed to be trained to make up for the unavailability of national teachers.
  • In light of increased distrust between communities, additional activities to strengthen social cohesion were needed.
  • As a result of the closure of markets, several refugees, especially women, lost their livelihoods. In a context of growing insecurity and limited opportunities, the adoption of negative coping mechanisms was a significant risk.
  • Following several attacks, the security forces present in and around the Mentao refugee camps left the site in October 2019. Growing insecurity required UNHCR to relocate its staff out of the camp in November 2019, leading to sporadic access to refugees. Some services provided in the camps were closed, such as education (since December 2018) and health (since May 2019).

Operational environment

 Rigorous security measures continue to result in the reduction of movements in the Sahel region in general and at the Malian border in particular. Relations between host populations and refugees in the Sahel region remain satisfactory and the Government of Burkina Faso shows continued willingness to accompany UNHCR in all initiatives aimed at improving the peaceful cohabitation and security of the camps and the host populations.
The number of partners will be reduced in 2019 and focus will be on the rationalization of resources and maintaining efficient solutions-oriented services to refugees. UNHCR’s plan and activities in Burkina Faso in 2019 have been collectively elaborated and endorsed by all of the stakeholders, including partners, refugees, government parties, UN agencies and donors.
UNHCR continues to work closely with the Government of Burkina Faso through its National Refugee Commission (CONAREF) and National Emergency and Relief Commission (CONASUR). The Government of Burkina Faso continues to fulfil its obligations vis-à-vis protection for refugees and asylum-seekers.
UNHCR actively participates in the implementation of the current UNDAF 2018-2020, by integrating the priorities of refugees living in Burkina Faso and their needs. These priorities focus on protection, the expansion of access to national social services for refugees, the integration of camp health and school facilities into the national systems; the inclusion of refugees in local development programmes and the reduction of statelessness.
In 2019, the operation will continue to ensure that refugees are protected by the Government of Burkina Faso, live in safety and dignity with host communities, and progressively attain lasting solutions through the promotion of solutions oriented programming, emergency response to new arrivals, protection of people of concern in mixed migration flows and prevention and reduction of statelessness.
The promotion of the inclusion of refugees in the National Development Plan and the UNDAF will continue to provide an opportunity for UNHCR and development partners to initiate projects linked to the long-term aspirations of the refugees and host communities and thus ensuring sustainability. These activities will go a long way to create a favourable protection environment where refugees are able to achieve self-reliance.

Key priorities

 UNHCR will continue enhancing Malian refugees’ legal and physical protection, giving priority to child protection and victims of violence. In addition to pursuing durable solutions, such as facilitated repatriation, UNHCR will also strengthen capacity-building, and access to livelihoods and income-generating opportunities through cash-based interventions.
UNHCR will facilitate access to primary health care through its health services to reduce malnutrition rates. UNHCR will also strive to reinforce peaceful coexistence by granting host communities access to basic services.
As part of 2019’s priorities, UNHCR will initiate alternatives to camps and facilitate access to primary education. Finally, UNHCR will strive to address root the causes of statelessness by engaging key institutional actors at the national level.
Latest contributions
  • 25-NOV-2020
    United States of America

    private donors

  • 24-NOV-2020
  • 23-NOV-2020
    Saudi Arabia

    private donors

  • 19-NOV-2020
  • 18-NOV-2020
  • Japan

    private donors

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 17-NOV-2020
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    private donors

  • 16-NOV-2020
  • 13-NOV-2020
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    private donors

  • Hungary
  • United States of America

    private donors

  • 12-NOV-2020
  • Japan

    private donors

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    private donors

  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • 11-NOV-2020
  • Argentina
  • 10-NOV-2020
    United States of America

    private donors