Immense challenges await newly elected president

Statement by Manenji Mangundu, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Burkina Faso, on the preliminary presidential election results.

“The challenges facing the newly elected president in Burkina Faso are immense. A combination of escalating conflict, displacement and the economic impacts of Covid-19 has pushed over three million people across the country towards hunger. We urge the president to ensure humanitarian actors can safely provide necessary assistance and prevent the country from slipping into famine.

More than one million people are displaced by ongoing conflicts in parts of the country. The international community must keep the commitments made during the Central Sahel Conference and urgently deliver on their pledges.

Schools are regularly targeted by armed groups and more than 760,000 children are deprived of education due to insecurity. The future of these children hangs by a thread. The new government must put these children on top of their priority list and show them that they are not forgotten.

Finally, we call on the president to ensure civilians are protected, in particular displaced persons, refugees, children, elderly and people with specific needs, and to strengthen the efforts to prevent gender-based violence.”

Facts:

On 22 November 2020, citizens of Burkina Faso went to the polls to vote in the presidential and legislative elections.

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore won 58% of the votes according to preliminary results released by the electoral commission Thursday 26 November.

Conflict has ravaged the once peaceful country and the number of internally displaced people has soared from 87,000 in January 2019 to 1,050,000 in November 2020[1].

3.2 million people are facing food crisis, with 1.8 million presumed to be in an emergency phase, and 11,300 in catastrophe phase. UN food agencies[2] have warned that the country can slip into famine if the situation deteriorates over the coming months.

Burkina Faso ranked third out of the ten most neglected crises in the world according to NRC’s annual neglected displacement crises[3] list released in June.

So far, donors have provided 55 per cent of the funding needed to cover the basic humanitarian needs in Burkina Faso in 2020, according to the UN[4].

References

  1. ^ 1,050,000 in November 2020 (data2.unhcr.org)
  2. ^ UN food agencies (www.wfp.org)
  3. ^ NRC’s annual neglected displacement crises (www.nrc.no)
  4. ^ according to the UN (fts.unocha.org)

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