Support to the WFP Burkina Faso Country Strategic Plan and UNHCR Country Operation Plan
Through this action, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) will aim to meet immediate humanitarian needs and improve the resilience of vulnerable populations especially women, who are prone to shocks and to enable them to cope and meet their needs in a time of crisis.
Contribution from the Government of Austria will contribute to deliver an integrated assistance package, through food assistance to approximately 67,610 IDPs and host communities but also through specific gender-sensitive early recovery activities targeting 800 displaced women and other vulnerable women among the host communities.
A contribution of in total EUR 2.9 million from the Austrian Development Agency for the period 2020-2022, specifically EUR 2.15 million in 2020 and EUR 750,000 in 2021, will be split about 60% and 40% respectively for WFP and UNHCR. This contribution will allow WFP and UNHCR to provide food assistance (through cash-based transfer) and develop income generating activities (IGA) for IDPs and host communities such as catering, processing local products and small businesses, sheep fattening or handicrafts.
Combining emergency (through WFP food assistance) and resilience building (with UNHCR IGA) in the same targeted area will ensure that households have adequate capacity to cope with shocks. In addition, it would foster social cohesion by easing the tension linked to the added pressure on resources, since emergency assistance may alleviate the urgent needs while IGA will allow to develop medium-term solutions.
In 2020, approximatively EUR 1,277,200 (60%) will be used for the unconditional assistance targeting a total of 54,950 vulnerable IDPs and host communities (including vulnerable women assisted by UNHCR) in the Centre Nord region. Assistance will be provided for two months. Through its response, WFP plans to provide timely, integrated and protection-sensitive humanitarian assistance to crisis-affected populations, considering the specific needs of men, women, boys and girls.
In 2021, approximatively EUR 445,545 (60%) will be used for the unconditional assistance targeting a total of 12,660 vulnerable IDPs and host communities (including vulnerable women assisted by UNHCR) in the Centre Nord region. Assistance will be ensured for a period of two months.
In 2020, approximatively EUR 851,485 (40%) will be used for the development of IGA. UNHCR plans to assist a total of 600 direct beneficiaries comprising 500 displaced women and 100 vulnerable women from the host population. The indirect beneficiaries of these IGA will be 4,200 individuals.
In 2021, approximatively EUR 297,030 will be used for the development of IGA and on gender-based violence prevention and mitigation activities. UNHCR plans to assist a total of 200 direct beneficiaries comprising 140 displaced women and 60 vulnerable women from the host population. The indirect beneficiaries of these IGA will be 1,400 individuals.
UNHCR will provide assistance and monitoring through cash-based intervention related to the regular livelihood activities of the women IDPs and host vulnerable women. Before the implementation of IGA activities, UNHCR will conduct a market assessment to define the market opportunities for beneficiaries' products. Subsequently, women beneficiaries will receive technical and business training to ensure they have the necessary skills to develop and manage IGAs. Women will have the choice to undertake their activity either individually or collectively. A vulnerability analysis of women beneficiaries will allow to define the adapted amounts of micro-grants, which will enable them to meet their urgent non-food needs while food gaps will be covered by WFP.
The beneficiaries will be organized into 20 mixed groups made up of IDP women and vulnerable women from the host community and called "Women's Clubs" who will receive practical training in order to be able to monitor and possibly refer victims to the mobile health clinics set up by UNHCR. These clubs will be supported and reinforced in 2021.
UNHCR will facilitate beneficiaries’ access to decentralized financial systems and local saving systems, to ensure the sustainability of the initiative by ensuring the integration of the beneficiaries’ activities within the local economy. This could lead to more opportunities (development of digital wallet, etc.). UNHCR will also support women to obtain quality certification based on national standards for the most viable products in order to facilitate their marketing and expand their market base.
Since 2018, the security situation in Burkina Faso has been deteriorating with an increasing presence of non-state armed groups resulting in a substantial number of security incidents targeting security and defence forces and civilians. An expansion and intensification of activities of these groups, exploiting pre-existing inter-communal tensions, has led to massive displacement of populations and had a severe impact on already vulnerable populations.
Food and nutritional security are critical. Pockets of malnutrition are present across the country, surpassing World Health Organisation emergency rates in terms of severe and moderate acute malnutrition, affecting both host-communities and displaced populations. Furthermore, results of the March 2020 Cadre Harmonisé outline a significant deterioration of the food security situation across the country. For the 2020 agricultural lean season (June-August 2020) over 2.15 million persons are projected to be in food insecurity crisis (IPC 3-5) and in need of urgent assistance. Similarly, in 2021, the situation has further worsened. With preliminary indication from the March 2021 Cadre Harmonisé, over 2.8 million people - over 13 percent of the Burkina Faso’s population - are expected to be in need of urgent food assistance during the lean season.
Women are among the most-vulnerable groups affected by the crisis, as they account for 54% percent of total displacements. In addition, the victims of the security incidents have been mostly men, thus resulting in an increased number of internally displaced widows, forced to leave everything behind, often having witnessed the assassination of their husbands after being raped themselves, thus exacerbated by increased family responsibilities and social pressure, affecting their ability to cope with the situation. Many women are now heads of household and with all this combined, they are potentially forced to adopt negative coping mechanisms, such as begging, prostitution or early marriage of their children.
COVID-19 adds another layer of vulnerability, with widespread movement restrictions and disruption on local economies and supply chains, making individuals more prone to shocks and de-facto more vulnerable.