In Burkina Faso, several people are facing a scarcity of food. Food insecurity levels are getting out of control in the Sahel region, confirmed by the World Food Programme (WFP). In Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali- the number of people bearing food insecurity has crossed 5 million marks, the concern made even worse, given the coronavirus pandemic.
The insecurity was caused by consecutive droughts and violent extremist activities. The extremists are taking benefit of the absence of strong governance, which now, according to WFP, is spreading to Liberia and Sierre Leone. The situation in Burkina Faso is expected to worsen and the number of affected people is likely to triple, given the number is now 2.1 million, when compared to 680,000 people at the same time last year.
Social distancing measurements are already implemented by WFP, and its partners are delivering aids as quickly as possible.
“The maximum numbers vary from one country to the other, but in general not more than 50 people can be gathered; and even when those people can be gathered, we are implementing standard operating procedures to minimize the transmission of the disease. So there is a temperature check for all people coming into the distribution sites and we have to respect one meter between every individual coming in to get the food assistance.” “Some of the bigger companies, and indeed the main suppliers globally, are in countries that are currently under strict confinement and a very reduced level of production,” Mr Lecuziat explained. “A lot of the nutritious products are produced in India or France, for example, where factories have had to reduce or close, or reduce significantly their production. We have big concerns on this, and our supply chain colleagues together with UNICEF, are looking at locally available enriched foods to complement this.”
So far, 1.5 million people have been assisted in Burkina Faso and Mali. It is expected that $208 million is needed for providing aid for the next 5 months.
535,000 Hungry Children
UNICEF has revealed in its new report that 535,000 children under the age of 5 are facing severe food insecurity. 156,000 children are severely malnourished. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation. The households are no more able to provide the basic facilities to the children and a large chunk of their income is now being spent on the protection and treatment of COVID-19. Gorom-Gorom in northern Burkina Faso has the largest number of displaced people. UNICEF has partnered with health workers to provide as much assistance as possible. 52,600 cartons and 737 tonnes of therapeutic food have been provided to the local families.