Burkina Faso Forgotten crisis in the Sahel
The military coup that took place on 30 September 2022 was the second coup in eight months. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) had already reviewed and adapted its cooperation with the West African country after the first coup in early 2022.
This cooperation now focuses on meeting people’s basic needs – such as food security, and water and sanitation.
Large parts of the country no longer under government control
When the then president Blaise Compaoré was ousted in 2014 – after 27 years in office – there were high hopes that the country would become more democratic. These hopes were dashed by the military takeover. The justification given for both coups was the steadily deteriorating security situation.
For about six years, the number of terrorist attacks by Islamist groups has been continuously increasing, affecting more and more parts of the country. Targets include not only government facilities like police stations and local government offices but also schools and churches. The government has lost control of more than 40 per cent of the country. In the Global Terrorism Index (External link) (GTI), which assesses the impacts of terrorism in 163 countries, Burkina Faso was in second place in 2023.
The security situation and climate change are dramatically exacerbating the already precarious food situation in some regions. Extreme weather, such as heat, drought and heavy rain, is becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, leading to degraded soils and poorer harvests. People in rural communities in particular, most of them subsistence farmers, are losing their livelihoods. The difficult security situation has also meant that fields cannot be worked and that cities have been cut off from food supplies. The United Nations estimates that about 2.3 million people in Burkina Faso have been left without reliable access to food.
German development cooperation with Burkina Faso
Germany is one of Burkina Faso’s top five bilateral donors, having been actively engaged in projects in the country since the 1960s, and is valued as a reliable, trusted partner. Cooperation activities are currently being carried out at the community level and because of the political situation the focus is on assisting people as directly as possible.
The last government negotiations between the two countries took place in September 2020; at that time Germany committed funds amounting to 71.45 million euros. Of that amount, 21.7 million euros was earmarked for projects under the Special Initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”. In 2022 and 2023, a total of 43.2 million euros for Technical Cooperation and Financial Cooperation was committed in writing. In 2024 as well, only government consultations are envisaged and commitments will be made afterwards in writing.
Development cooperation between Germany and Burkina Faso focuses on the following three core areas:
- Transformation of agricultural and food systems
Areas of intervention: agriculture, rural development
- Peaceful and inclusive societies
Areas of intervention: good governance, peacebuilding and conflict prevention
- Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth
Area of intervention: water
Transitional development assistance measures are embedded in the core areas. Together with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the BMZ developed the Sahel Resilience Initiative to bring about lasting improvements in the food and income situations of people in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Chad. The assistance provided under the initiative includes support for restoring agricultural land and ensuring that schools are supplied with food.
The BMZ is also engaged in promoting children’s and young people’s rights in Burkina Faso. The aim is to protect socially disadvantaged children and young people against the worst forms of child labour, child trafficking and gender-based violence. By building and expanding school networks, community-based social services and education and training programmes, their future prospects are to be improved. Awareness-raising programmes are intended to help reduce the number of unwanted early pregnancies.
SDG trends for Burkina Faso
- On track or maintaining SDG achievement
- Moderately improving
- Trend information unavailable