In the fight against food insecurity in Burkina Faso, sustainable solutions exist and are being developed by the Monaco and Burkina Faso Red Cross national societies.

A region plagued by recurrent crises

Located in the heart of West Africa, Burkina Faso is a landlocked Sahelian country whose economy mainly depends on agriculture and cattle farming, which account for 86.6% of the working population. However, only 34% of households have permanent access to drinking water, and malnutrition affects close to one third of children from 0 to 5 years old. In the event of a crisis, a significant portion of the population becomes extremely vulnerable…

The Soum province, situated in the Sahel region in the north of the country, is particularly subject to a harsh climate and demographic increase. The situation, often critical, has spurred the international community into action, but the problem is recurrent and the number of crises increasing.

Two-step intervention

After providing emergency aid in 2012, in response to the last severe food crisis, accentuated by the arrival in the region of close to 9,000 refugees fleeing from the conflict in Mali, the Monaco Red Cross and the Burkina Faso Red Cross initiated a three-year project in order to increase the income of 470 households and in particular of 40 women’s groups. This target audience is characterised by chronic debt, weak management capacities and lack of access to adapted technologies.

Above all, the project aims to strengthen very small-scale market gardening businesses, rainfed crops and small-scale stock farming, as well as to raise awareness on food hygiene and improve culinary practices, while at the same time promoting economic development in the region. This local approach is necessarily a long-term process as it implies a major change in mentality.

Water : an essential resource

In this region, which has experienced high demographic growth and is bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change, over half the population has no access to drinking water. Consequently, the rate of diarrhoea related diseases is much higher than in the rest of the country. Therefore the Red Cross is also working on improving the food security, water access and health conditions of this population.

Thanks to funding from the White Feather Foundation, the Red Cross selected, among the beneficiaries of the food security programme, the 50 most vulnerable households (i.e. 300 people) and is starting an action focused on three main issues: access to drinking water, sanitation awareness, water management (to avoid risks of contamination), and waste management. Activities such as the construction of latrines, the restoration of bore holes, awareness and education are at the heart of this action.

One condition : your contribution

The international humanitarian section of the Monaco Red Cross is an international team committed to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable people in the world. By means of projects involving the local communities, the Monaco Red Cross, in partnership with the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the field, auxiliaries to the public authorities, has been implementing its expertise in primary care, health, food security and education since 2007.

These efforts require a significant financial contribution: the Red Cross is actively seeking private donors and companies willing to invest in these solidarity projects. If you are interested in social responsibility or if you simply would like to find out more, please contact the international humanitarian section

via email : or by telephone: +377 97 97 68 05.

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