Ouagadougou – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has resumed its air emergency food assistance operations in Burkina Faso on January 20, 2023. This intervention aims to meet the food and nutritional needs of women, men and children, whose access to healthy and nutritious food has been compromised for several months due to insecurity growing in the Sahel region.
In collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso, WFP will airlift more than 3,500 metric tons of food consisting of maize meal, pulses, and vegetable oil in 14 localities under blockade in the Sahel region. This assistance is intended to meet the emergency food and nutrition needs of 178,000 women, men, and children. This airlift of humanitarian supply, which includes three heavy-lift helicopters, is fully funded by the United States of America, Denmark, and Switzerland for a period of three months, from January to March 2023.
“With food insecurity reaching catastrophic levels in conflict-affected areas of Burkina Faso, we need to act fast and leave no one behind; we also need unimpeded access to those most in need in order to avert a humanitarian disaster in the country,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP’s Regional Director for Western Africa after he met with top government officials to discuss WFP’s humanitarian response plan and priorities in Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso is facing its worst food security crisis in a decade due to conflict, recurrent population displacement, climate shocks, and rising food prices. According to the latest Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis, 2.6 million people were facing emergency levels of food insecurity over the last quarter of 2022 – a 59 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. This figure is projected to reach 3.5 million people during the lean season between June and August 2023. An estimated 19,800 people across Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region will experience catastrophic levels of hunger during the same period unless urgent action is taken to provide timely support.
“WFP is committed to supporting the government in saving and changing lives in Burkina Faso and we look forward to continued collaboration with all partners while respecting the cardinal humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence,” Nikoi emphasized.
WFP’s humanitarian response in Burkina Faso is provided in close collaboration with the National Council for Emergency Relief and rehabilitation (CONASUR) which coordinates and supervises beneficiary targeting, registration, and validation of final lists.
In 2022, WFP provided emergency food assistance to 2,1 million across the country including internally displaced persons, school children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers by land and air transport operations. WFP also worked with various partners to strengthen the resilience of communities to climate shocks and stresses – through the construction and rehabilitation of assets such as water towers, community farms and pastures. Over 8,000 hectares of land were rehabilitated allowing families to grow and harvest more food for themselves.
Source: World Food Programme