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Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso — the “Land of Honest People”, as the Republic of Upper Volta was named in 1984 by then-president Thomas Sankara — is a landlocked country in West Africa, surrounded by Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south-east, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d’Ivoire to the south-west. The country has experienced sustained economic growth over the past decade, primarily due to its main export commodities of cotton and gold — but this growth has not benefited the majority of Burkinabe. 

Although the poverty headcount ratio has declined, the absolute number of poor has increased. 40.1% of the population lives below the poverty line and extreme poverty is rampant in rural areas. The country faces many development challenges, particularly in terms of health and education. It ranks 144th among 157 countries in the new human capital index established by the World Bank. Fertility rates are over 5 children per woman and more than 61 percent of its youth are illiterate. 

With temperatures rising 1.5 times faster in the region than in the rest of the world, climate change is a real threat. Burkina Faso is faced with extreme and varied climatic conditions that cause droughts and floods. The implications are are often disastrous, especially since the economy is largely based on agriculture (which employs 80% of the workforce).  

Security and Sociopolitical Situation. Growing insecurity in the north along the border with Mali and Niger has displaced several communities in Burkina Faso. In August 2021, there were around 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), representing more than 6% of the population.  

The need for adaptive social protection.



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