Blog Post

Households in Northern Burkina Faso Facing Risk of Famine

An estimated 360,000 people in northern Burkina Faso are suffering extreme and worsening food insecurity and malnutrition, according to a recent alert from FEWS Net. While the risk of famine (IPC Phase 5) in the region is not a foregone conclusion, FEWS Net has determined that such a risk is possible through September 2023.

Populations in Djibo have experienced blockades due to protracted conflict for over a year, severely limiting livelihoods and causing shortages of food, water, and other essentials. Many households’ staple food stocks were depleted by December of last year. While the military escorted in food supplies in March and traders have set price ceilings for important staple goods, those prices are significantly higher than in March 2022 (as much as 50 percent higher). As a result, households have engaged in negative coping mechanisms and drastically reduced their food consumption. FEWS Net also cites anecdotal reports of widespread child wasting and high hunger-related mortality.

The report states that the blockade and surrounding conflict are unlikely to end in the near-term and could even intensify in the coming months. Currently, in-kind transfers are the only type of support available to the population and need to be delivered via airlift. FEWS Net is calling for both an end to the blockade and a significant increase in such deliveries of humanitarian aid in order to stave off the risk of famine.