U.S. Allocates Nearly $55 Million in Humanitarian Assistance for Burkina Faso

The United States is set to allocate close to $55 million to address a severe humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso, as revealed by U.S. aid chief Samantha Power in a statement obtained by Reuters. The aid package will primarily target urgent food and nutrition needs, alongside other forms of assistance, bringing the total emergency aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development to Burkina Faso to nearly $158 million since the start of fiscal year 2023.

Samantha Power emphasized the unfolding crisis in Burkina Faso, where widespread violence and assaults on civilians and critical infrastructure have led to mass displacement and disrupted essential services. Approximately 6.3 million Burkinabe, accounting for nearly a third of the country’s population, require urgent aid this year, she stated.

Burkina Faso is among several nations in Africa’s Sahel region grappling with Islamist insurgencies linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, resulting in numerous casualties and displacements. Concerns over the failure of authorities to safeguard civilians have contributed to multiple coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger since 2020. The current military regime in Burkina Faso took control at the end of 2022.

Power highlighted a recent report by Human Rights Watch detailing the summary execution of approximately 223 villagers, including at least 56 children, in February, allegedly as part of a military campaign against civilians accused of collaborating with jihadist militants. She urged donors to step up their support for the overlooked and underfunded humanitarian response, emphasizing the challenges of reaching vulnerable civilians amid ongoing conflict. Power stressed the critical need for protecting civilians and ensuring unhindered humanitarian access to prevent the worsening of the devastating situation in Burkina Faso.