Christian Aid responds to Burkina Faso emergency that has displaced 100,000 people
Conflict in Burkina Faso has seen more than 100,000 people flee their homes creating a growing humanitarian emergency.
The West African country has been subject to terrorist attacks since 2015 but the Government is not clear who started this latest round of violence which has led to the mass displacement of people.
Christian Aid’s Country Manager in Burkina Faso, Aline Ouedraogo, said: “It started in January when the village of Yirgou was attacked, killing seven people including the head of the village. Local people reacted to this and attacked people from the Fulani tribe because they thought they were sheltering those responsible, leading to a further 49 deaths. It has escalated since then with the violence causing mass displacement. We need people to forgive each other and stay peaceful.”
She added that the crisis was affecting society on many levels: “More than 1100 schools in the area have closed preventing more than 150, 000 pupils from receiving their education. Health workers have left their posts and people are struggling for food because they have had to flee their homes and livelihoods. Girls are particularly vulnerable and the worsening security context may encourage kidnapping, early marriage and sexual abuse. The Ministry of Education has warned that the risks of recruitment of out of school children by terrorists remains real.
“We are providing money to help families buy food from local markets but the number of displaced people is increasing every day.”
Christian Aid has responded by providing cash transfers to help those without food living in makeshift refugee camps or with host families in other parts of the country.
Ms Ouedraogo said: “Through the START Fund Christian Aid has been able to help more than 660 households, including more than 1250 children aged between 6 and 23 months and more than 850 pregnant women.”