Caritas Burkina Faso Launches Emergency Appeal to Support Displaced People

A well-wisher hands over clothing to a displaced woman in Burkina Faso.

The Catholic Church in Burkina Faso through its humanitarian arm, Caritas Burkina Faso, has launched an emergency appeal to address the plight of millions of people displaced by the ongoing regional conflict in the West African nation through humanitarian support.

In a report published by Caritas Internationalis, the leadership of Caritas Burkina Faso justifies the appeal, cautioning that “more than 2.2 million people will go hungry in the country in coming months due to conflict and extreme weather conditions if no help is given.”

“Caritas is appealing for €600,000 (US$673,872)) to provide those displaced, as well as families who host the displaced, with food and cash support over four months until the end of October 2020,” the leadership of Caritas Internationalis has said in the report published Wednesday, July 1.

The envisaged food baskets will target 1,500 households in the dioceses of Kaya, Fada N’Gourma, Nouna and Dédougou, officials of the international confederation have said.

The food baskets will contain enough food supply to last each household a month and will include 50kg of rice, 50kg of sorghum or millet, 25kgs of beans, 5 litres of cooking oil, 2kgs of salt, and 5000 CFA francs (US$8.56) so that people can add fresh food to their diet.


Located with the conflict-ridden Sahel region, Burkina Faso has become the “epicentre for an ongoing regional conflict” leading to the displacement of almost one million people, officials of the Vatican-based organization have reported.

The situation in the landlocked country “is one of the most rapidly evolving displacement crises in the world and hundreds of thousands of people are hungry, thirsty and have no adequate shelter,” Caritas Internationalis leadership says.

“We often hear that the world has forgotten the crisis in the Sahel. Countries such as Burkina Faso are facing a variety of challenges and without help people are going to suffer terribly,” the Director of Caritas Burkina Faso, Fr. Constatin Sere has been quoted as saying.

He adds, “There is limited access to nutritious food for those who are displaced, nor do they have much access to water for drinking or for hygiene purposes.”

With the rainy season imminent, Fr. Constatin is concerned about the well-being of the “many people who lack adequate shelter to face the storms, winds and floods that will ensue over the next three to five months.”

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Amid the conflict, the head of Caritas Burkina Faso says Burkinabe people are hoping for peace and a return to normality.

“If you ask a displaced person what they desire most, they say they want to return to their villages. I fear that this won’t happen for a long time as the violence isn’t abating,” he says and adds, “In spite of the efforts of the State, armed groups continue to sow terror and take away lives in our country.”

According to a database of conflict incidents around the world, Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), out of the world’s 15 deadliest conflicts in 2019, Burkina Faso was the country that worsened the most.

The violence in the country has attracted the attention of various agencies and personalities including Pope Francis who, in November 2019, appealed for interreligious dialogue and harmony to end the protracted conflict.

Some days after the Holy Father’s appeal, the UN cautioned that the 19.75-million population country could become “another Syria” due to its entanglement in the jihadist insurgency that rocked the Sahel region starting early 2015.


Concerned about the soaring insecurity in the country, Bishops in Burkina Faso in June called for a “more vigorous and rigorous management of the situation” and underscored the role of the country’s security personnel as “paramount.”