• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 182,000 People displaced [?]
  • 949,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports




The Sahel region has been increasingly impacted by the presence and activities of Islamist armed groups whose influence reaches from the regions bordering Mali to others closer to the capital and toward the east of the country, in the regions bordering Niger. ?Most of the attacks carried out in the country are attributed to Ansaroul Islam and the Support Group to Islam and Muslims (JNIM). Since January 2018, a least 89 civilians were killed in attacks led by those groups.? Increased violence in 2019 led to the displacement of more than 120,000 people since January, bringing the total of internally displaced to over 170,000.? On 11 January, the State of Emergency declared on 31 December was extended for six months in 14 provinces mainly located in the Boucle du Mouhoun, Nord, Sahel, and Est regions. ?

A total of 1.2 million people are in need. ?IPDs and host communities have urgent multiple sectoral needs. Continuous conflict drive food insecurity, as displaced people cannot access their fields and/or markets. More than 1090 schools remain closed; leaving more than 150,000 children without access to education. Health services remain severely restricted.  Access to water remains a major issue, particularly in the Sahel region. ?

INFORM measures Burkina Faso’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be medium, at 5.1/10. A lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are all at concerning levels, at 6.1/10 and 5.8/10 respectively. ?


Latest Developments


11/06: More than 330,000 children are out of school. More than 2,024 schools (1,844 primary and 180 secondary schools), have been closed following continuous insecurity and attacks in six regions in Burkina Faso. Northern Sahel region accounts for almost 1,000 of the schools closed. ?

Government loses control of southwestern and eastern regions, leading to internal displacement and increased food insecurity

Latest update: 21/06/2019


Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely


Very low Moderate Major

Internal conflict has increased in the north (Sahel, Nord and Centre-Nord regions) in 2019, with a 5,700% increase in civilian fatalities compared to the first half of 2018 and 123,000 people newly displaced since January. ? Since April, fighting has intensified between Islamist armed groups and different civilian tribes, along with more targeted attacks against Christian communities and schools. Attacks are spreading east and southwest. ? If the intensity and frequency of intercommunal fighting and attacks by Islamic groups continues to escalate in Est, Centre-Est and Hauts Bassins, Sud-Ouest, and Cascades regions, the government risks losing control of these areas, as it did in the north.

The local population in eastern and southwestern regions has high mistrust in the government due to low development with limited opportunities, and continuous arbitrary arrests and human rights violations by government security forces. ?In counter-terrorism operations, military forces have been killing three times more civilians than jihadists. ? Countrywide, the Burkinabe army morale has declined due to limited training, lack of human and logistical capacity, and high death tolls among government forces in recent months. Rivalry among agencies adds to internal tensions, increasing the risk of another military coup d’état. ? Another regime change, as seen in the past, will prohibit effective measures against the increasing violence.

Islamic groups including Ansaroul Islam and the Support Group to Islam and Muslims (JNIM) seem more organised, with increased human and financial capacity and alliances with new local militants and criminal networks. As the civilian population’s frustration increases, more people are seeking safety in self-defense militia groups. Islamist armed groups are leveraging intercommunal tensions between pastoralists and farmers, creating resentment and mistrust among communities and increasing the risk of conflict escalation. ?


Further loss of governmental control in Burkina Faso’s eastern and southwestern regions will intensify intercommunal conflict, triggering large-scale displacement. As of 15 February, 76,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the southwestern regions of Haut Bassins, Cascades and Sud-Ouest, and 137,000 in the Est and Centre Est regions. ?

An escalation of violence in these areas, home to respectively 3.5 million and 4.6 million people, will drastically increase the number of people relying on aid. Humanitarian response capacity is already underequipped to serve all people in need, including 170,000 IDPs countrywide? A drastic decline in safety and security in Burkina Faso will worsen humanitarian access and aid delivery. As access to fields ,markets and other livelihood activities decline, the number of people depending on food assistance during the lean season (June to mid-September) is likely to surpass estimations of 676,000 people in IPC-3 (Crisis) and IPC- 4 (Emergency) by mid-September. At least some of the 38,000 people projected to face Crisis in the Est and Centre-Est region are likely to fall into Emergency if violence spreads. ?

Concerns that the Islamist armed groups’ influence will cross borders and affect neighbouring Ghana, Togo, and Benin are high. Some 200 suspected extremists, 95 of whom were Togolese, were arrested in mid-May. ? When the government loses control of parts of Burkina Faso, joint government military operations from Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Ghana become less feasible due to lesser influence in the area, increasing the risk of violence spreading.

This risk was identified in the June Quarterly Risk Report

Read this risk

Key Priorities


Food security is of particular concern in the regions affected by insecurity. More than 307,000 people were experiencing IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) crisis or IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) food security outcomes, a figure expected to rise to around 676,000 people during the 2019 lean season. Nine provinces among 45 have GAM rates higher than 10%. ?133,000 Children under 5 years at risk of SAM in 2019. ?

Protection is a priority for populations affected by insecurity, particularly in the Sahel, Nord, and Centre Nord regions where attacks against civilians have been increasing and where most of the displaced people are gathered. Some 29,000 refugees from Mali are also concentrated in those areas.  ?

Health needs are high as access to services is poor and insecurity has led to the suspension of services in several health centres. ?

Information Gaps and Needs

  • Information on quantified sectoral needs in Nord and Sahel regions is limited.
  • Limited or lack of information on access constraints for the population to humanitarian assistance and basic social services.