La résilience
©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Burkina Faso: anticipating the immediate consequences of conflict on agricultural livelihoods and food security


In the Liptako Gourma cross-border areas of Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger, the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3+) increased from about 1 million to 4.4 million between 2015 and 2020. This complex crisis is driven by increased insecurity and communal violence, exacerbated by growing competition over resources, climatic variability and lack of income opportunities. As a result, forced displacement across the Sahel has quadrupled in just two years, from 490 000 people to about 2 million - mostly concentrated in Burkina Faso – and the situation is expected to worsen further by July 2021

In 2019, FAO launched a pilot initiative on strengthening early warning and anticipatory action to mitigate the immediate consequences of conflict and displacement in Burkina Faso. The initiative stemmed from the recognition that while existing rapid response mechanisms answer immediate needs on water, shelter, health and food, there is limited capacity to do the same regarding consequences of conflict and violence on people’s agricultural livelihoods.

Under this initiative, FAO is strengthening strategic partnerships with a range of actors including the governmental and non-governmental entities closely involved in responding to ongoing displacement crises. FAO is also producing regular reports and alerts to support partners’ efforts to ensure better coordination, consolidation and triangulation of information. In addition, FAO is strengthening capacities for carrying out rapid assessments of immediate needs related to the impact of a violent event or a recent displacement. 

FAO and partners use these assessments for the establishment of anticipatory action triggers, upon which they start distribution of cash and agricultural inputs/tools to the most vulnerable households whose livelihoods and food security are expected to deteriorate the fastest following a violent event.