Burkina Faso


Operation: Opération: Burkina Faso



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Key Figures

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
2019 planning figures
80% of refugees identified in need of resettlement submitted
80% of people of concern registered on individual basis
100% of SGBV survivors receive appropriate support
100% of best interest processes for unaccompanied minors/separated children (UASC) are initiated or completed

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":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[25.70863502,20.5672092,21.67917582,24.785447777,24.65099569,30.25125102],"expenditure":[17.18614105,14.06340692,14.30327322,16.88336426,13.81445085,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[25.70863502,20.5672092,20.97155543,24.274910527,24.14788135,26.81489002],"p2":[null,null,0.70762039,0.51053725,0.50311434,0.436361],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,3]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[17.18614105,14.06340692,14.06146278,16.55595915,13.5897168,null],"p2":[null,null,0.24181044,0.32740511,0.22473405,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

Operational context

The security situation in Burkina Faso remained fragile due to continued terrorist threats, organized crime and confrontations between extremist armed groups and security forces in several regions such as Mouhoun, North, East and North-Centre, and most notably in Sahel.  The violence and insecurity led to a large-scale internal displacement. The affected zone became the field of military operations with the deployment of the G5 Sahel force.
As a consequence, in 2018 the protection space was considerably affected by the progressive deterioration of the security situation, coupled with human right violations, in particular in zones sheltering UNHCR’s people of concern. The vulnerability of the displaced populations was further affected by the increasing food insecurity. People of concern continued to be exposed to protection risks, such as psychological and physical violence, child labour. Together with partners, UNHCR continued to identify protection incidents and individual violations through the protection monitoring programme and attempted to respond to identified needs.

Population trends

The number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Burkina Faso increased from some 24,160 at the beginning of the year to 25,120 at the end of the year with a majority of refugees, some 24,710, coming from Mali.
The Malian caseload (some 98% of the total refugee population) is recognized prima facie since 2012. The 24,710 Malian refugees live in the Sahel region, mainly in the camps of Goudoubo (7,940 people) and Mentao (6,666 people), as well as in the urban areas of Bobo-Dioulasso (402 people) and Ouagadougou (118 people). There are also smaller numbers of refugees from Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Togo, who are living primarily in urban areas.
In addition to the refugee caseload, some 80,000 people were reported internally displaced in Burkina Faso in the course of 2018, due to increased violence and insecurity.

Key achievements

  • Following the deterioration of the security situation and repetitive attacks in Mentao, a new security strategy was adopted.  Actions taken include: daily patrols in camps; police teams trained on international protection, gender-based violence and code of conduct issues; and the reinforcement of logistics.
  • Reception of refugees was reinforced through training of security forces to guarantee the respect of non-refoulement; no cases of refoulement were reported during the year;
  • Peaceful coexistence improved because of the  reinforcement of  community committees; improved complaint mechanism systems; creation of the weekly market facilitating exchange between refugees and host population;
  • The introduction of the biometric identity management system (BIMS), in place since 2017, allowed UNHCR to better manage  population data, leading in reduced risk of fraud;
  • 235 people expressed their will, and were assisted, to return to their country of origin; 17 cases of naturalization were identified; and 21 cases (60 people) were submitted to resettlement countries through the regional office in Dakar

Unmet needs

Due to funding constraints, the following needs remained unmet:
  • Camp rehabilitation and reforestation in settlements where environmental resources and pastoral activities are going through considerable pressure;
  • The provision of complementary food for children under 5 years old;
  • The construction of semi-permanent shelter similar to that of host population.  During the pilot phase in 2018 70 shelters were constructed in camps, however 4,698 remain to be built to cover the gap;
  • 1,094 individual latrines are shared among 2,921 households, therefore, not meeting the standard ratio of 1 latrine per household;
  • Insufficient number of secondary scholarship; insufficient number of teachers in out-of-camp schools; inadequate provision of school lunches, as well as dignity and sanitary kits.

Working environment

The operational environment in Burkina Faso continues to be characterized by the protracted refugee situation, with continuous flows and few returns taking place. Due to the recurring armed attacks in the Sahel region, humanitarian access to certain zones is limited and internal displacement continues.
The refugee population in Burkina Faso is composed of a mix of Malians and other nationalities. Some 32,000 Malian refugees are living in the Sahel region, mainly in the camps of Mentao and Goudebou, and a further 8,800 Malians are living out of camps in the Sahel region and in other urban settings.  The terrorist attacks and other security incidents that the country has experienced since 2016 have led to the stigmatization of Malian refugees by the host communities, especially in the Sahel. Other challenges include poor food security perspectives for Malian refugees in the Sahel region and political challenges, such as regular strikes and sit-ins.
There are ongoing discussions with the government about recurrent trans-border movements of the refugee population settled outside the camps. UNHCR is ready to engage in the relocation of nomadic refugees and their cattle.
UNHCR continues to work at national level together with its government counterpart, Commission Nationale pour les Réfugiés, NGO partners and other UN agencies.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Maintaining a favorable protection environment in difficult security situation;
  • Implementing durable solutions: 1) economic self-reliance through professional training and capacity building in the field of craftwork business, herd management and milk production; 2) facilitated repatriation;
  • Promoting peaceful co-existence with host communitites;
  • Integrating refugees into development programmes and projects;
  • Reducing the number of stateless persons in Burkina Faso;
  • Formulating a mixed movement strategy.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors