Building resilience is challenging in Burkina Faso’s complex environment and successful resilience activities can help reduce both poverty and instability.
Rising insecurity and climatic shocks have caused an unprecedented escalation in humanitarian needs, putting more families at risk of food insecurity. Attacks by armed groups and community conflicts are leading to population movement, making rural populations dependent on subsistence agriculture increasingly vulnerable. The Government of Burkina Faso and the international community are working together to build resilience and improve the country’s ability to withstand shocks.
Complex Risk Environment
The country’s most food insecure regions (in the north and east) have seen a dramatic rise in violent conflict and subsequent population displacement. This can impede access to health services, disrupt social cohesion among communities, and challenge the access and activities of humanitarian and development actors. Such insecurity compounds disruptions from climate change, which is likely to significantly impact the frequency and intensity of droughts, rainfall, and crop pest outbreaks. Increases in average temperatures, rapid population growth, and a youth bulge challenge the capacity of communities to bounce back and prevent life-threatening acute malnutrition.
The Government of Burkina Faso is working with the donor community to improve its people’s resilience by incorporating its Country Resilience Priorities into its second five-year National Agricultural Investment Program. Resilience programming in Burkina Faso seeks to address the underlying causes of vulnerability and risk, which lead to a cycle of humanitarian crisis and response whenever a climatic or other shock occurs. It seeks to improve health and nutrition while also strengthening institutions and governance critical to resilience in order to improve natural resource management and mitigation of resource related conflict.
Multi-year, multi-sectoral resilience projects increase sustainable economic well-being through increased agricultural productivity, income diversification, and increased access to markets and financial services. Resilience investments respond to common grievances, such as lack of government services and poor economic opportunities, and address common drivers of instability, such as local conflicts and shock-related population displacements.
Opportunities for Strengthening Resilience
There are many opportunities to strengthen resilience from the local to national levels, including improving access to and management of water and other natural resources; promoting business development and opportunities to engage in growing markets; improving health outcomes; strengthening community and national health systems; strengthening effective governance at all levels; and empowering women and youth to be a force for positive change. An additional new and important focus will be on improving security and accountability.
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