Burkina Faso is a landlocked, low-income country in the Sahel. It is the 14th poorest country in the world (Business Insider, 2019). Its population is very young and growing rapidly. In 2017, 65% of the population was under the age of 25.
The country is also experiencing rapid and worrying urbanization. With a population of 3 million in 2019, the capital Ouagadougou is expected to have between 10 and 20 million inhabitants by 2050.
The challenges are already considerable and the authorities are struggling to meet the needs of all. More and more Burkinabes are crowding into the suburbs of Ouagadougou, in what are known as “unplanned areas” where access to water, electricity and transport is limited. The standard of living is very low and access to basic social services almost non-existent. These communities suffering from harsh living conditions, with a feeling of inferiority, even come to exclude themselves.
In addition to this already very difficult situation, security is becoming increasingly degraded.
The spread of jihadist violence in the north of the country and the multiplication of terrorist attacks, including in the capital, are leading to numerous population displacements.
Since 2015, the attacks have left about 750 people dead and 600,000 displaced (Le Monde, 2020). More than 2,000 schools are closed because of the terrorist threat affecting more than 300,000 students and more than 10,000 teachers.
To date, we are maintaining our efforts in the country so as not to jeopardize the commitments made to support vulnerable people and the education of young children.