Italy with WFP: Food Assistance, Resilience Building in Burkina Faso

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foto WFP
Burkina Faso, Kaya 7 October 2020 In the photo: The residents of the three villages in this commune are working on this community-resilience project after identifying the rehabilitation of barren land as their most pressing need, it enables them to grow the hay they need to be able to keep livestock as well as growing vegetables that can be sold in the market. Photo: WFP/Brunel Ouangraoa The Sahel is the vast strip of Africa that runs south of the Sahara Desert between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea, 80 percent of the land is degraded. The region is one of the world’s worst hit when it comes to climate change.

Severe fluctuations in weather reduce access to key resources and disrupt the delicate balance between farmers and herders who share water and grazing lands. Participants in the Ouallam project took to an enhanced form of an ancient water-harvesting technique to rehabilitate the land. They dug half-moons — crescent-shaped pits that retain rainwater and improve the soil.
The community has rehabilitated 93 hectares of land with the support of the World Food Programme (WFP), increasing grazing and agricultural potential and planting trees in the process.

Resilience-building activities serve as a buffer to instability by strengthening solidarity between people, creating social safety nets, keeping lands productive and offering economic opportunities for communities.

In Burkina Faso, a proliferation of non-state armed groups, counter-insurgency actions by state forces and international allies, intercommunal violence and the creation of armed self-defence groups at village level, have led to the world’s fastest-growing displacement crisis — with over 1 million internally displaced people.

In April an IPD community from Barsologho escaped their village and found refuge in Foutrigui, near Kaya the capital of Sanmatenga Province and the Centre-Nord region. The host community integrated them, along with other internally displaced peo

ROME, FEBRUARY 4 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a 3.5-million-euro (US$4.2 million) contribution from Italy to provide food assistance and develop early-recovery projects for tens of thousands of people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso.

The funds will help WFP meet the basic food needs of more than 55,000 displaced people, along with host families, over a three-month period. It will also support resilience and early-recovery activities for nearly 24,000 people over six months, amid a complex mix of armed conflict, climate change and other natural shocks that are deepening already high food insecurity and malnutrition rates in the country.

The current unrest has uprooted more than one million people and left more than two million—roughly one-tenth of the country’s population—needing humanitarian assistance. That number is predicted to grow to 2.7 million during the upcoming(June-August) lean season, between harvests.

“The Italian Government has become a trusted partner for our operations in Burkina Faso and we are grateful for this vital contribution,” said Antoine Renard, WFP Representative and Country Director in Burkina Faso. “Rebuilding livelihoods of displaced people and host-communities not only is a fundamental step to rebuilding their futures, but also helps enhance social cohesion among populations affected by the ongoing crisis.”

Italy’s funding will also target agriculture and other livelihood-building projects carried out by WFP and partners, aimed to help reinforce people’s resilience to man-made and natural shocks.

“The WFP’s operation reflects a traditional and important commitment by the AICS in the region, which is even more crucial now due to the increasing instability and the worrying levels of malnutrition in some areas of Burkina Faso,” said Domenico Bruzzone, Director in Burkina Faso for the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

“The partnership with WFP aims to respond to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, creating a coherent nexus between the emergency response and food security-related development programs, as well as sustainable agricultural development. It is aligned with the Italian strategy of cooperation in the Sahel,” he added. “WFP has recently strengthened links with our NGOs also in implementation of our voluntary contributions.”

This latest support brings to 6.5 million euros (US$7.9 million) Italy’s total contribution to WFP’s operations in Burkina Faso for the 2019-2021 period. (@WFP/OnuItalia)