Burkina Faso: Second biggest spike in displacement since crisis began

The military coup in Burkina Faso late January made headlines. The registration that same month of over 160,000 newly displaced Burkinabé, a near-record high figure, did not. The jump marks the second biggest monthly increase since the humanitarian crisis started in the country over three years ago, say the Norwegian Refugee Council, Action Against Hunger, Médecins du Monde France and Oxfam.

“Flashing around big figures at high-level meetings doesn’t mean anything to people who lack decent shelter, clean water, and can’t feed their children three meals a day. We call on donor countries to make good on the promises made at the Central Sahel Conference in October 2020,” says Hassane Hamadou, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Burkina Faso. “The crisis in this region should not be addressed only when strategically convenient, or when a Sahel country is in the media limelight. The international community has a duty to alleviate human suffering, whether they hit close to home or not.”

Since January 2019, the displaced population in Burkina Faso has grown by 2,000%, with over 1.7 million people now uprooted. More than two out of three are children. While a growing portion of this generation gets raised away from home and with little access to schools, education funding remains harrowingly low. Overall funding for the humanitarian response is less than half of what is needed. It is vital the crisis in Ukraine does not divert funds and attention away from the Sahel region this year, warn the signatories.

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