Photo by Caritas Burkina Faso

Caritas Launches Emergency Aid for ‘Forgotten’ in Burkina Faso

Millions May Face Hunger in Face of Extreme Weather

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Caritas is launching an emergency appeal to help those displaced in Burkina Faso. Caritas Burkina Faso warns that more than 2.2 million people will go hungry in the country in the coming months due to conflict and extreme weather conditions if no help is given.

The West African country has become the epicenter for ongoing regional conflict and almost one million people have been displaced. It 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.

The director of Caritas Burkina Faso, Fr Constatin Sere, 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. 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.”

Fr Sere says that the rainy season is coming and many people lack adequate shelter to face the storms, winds, and floods that will ensue over the next three to five months.

Caritas is appealing for €600,000 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 distributions will focus on the dioceses de Kaya, Fada N’Gourma, Nouna, and Dédougou.

The food baskets, which will go to 1,500 households, will contain enough food for one month and will include:

  • 50 kg sack of rice;
  • 50 kg sack of sorghum or millet;
  • 25 kg sack of beans;
  • 5 ltr container of oil;
  • 2 kg of salt;
  • 5000 CFA francs so that people can add fresh food to their diet.

Fr Sere says that those displaced and everyone in Burkina Faso are pinning their hopes on peace and a return to normality. He says, “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. In spite of the efforts of the State, armed groups continue to sow terror and take away lives in our country.”

Until not so long ago, Burkina Faso was peaceful and flourishing. But over the past year or so, the armed groups along the border in the north and east have terrorized and killed and brought fear and instability to the country of almost 20 million people.

On behalf of Caritas Burkina, Fr Sere offers heartfelt thanks to anyone who wants to help the local population. Caritas works extensively with local communities in many parts of the country.

“Unfortunately, 2.2 million people in June, July and August will go hungry in our country,” says Fr Sere. “The future is worrying but we continue to put our faith in God and in the love of our brothers and sisters across the world.”

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