REPORT: Managing food crisis in Burkina Faso

The rain is late in Mia village and its 2,300 inhabitants are anxious for the harvest and the food supplies. With an agriculture system dependent on the rainy season and with increasingly erratic rains compounded by soil deterioration and population growth, Mia village is at permanent risk of food shortages.

Mia is one of 46 villages forming the district of Arbollé, 85km north of Ouagadougou, in the Passoré province of Burkina Faso. Following the drought that hit the country in 2011, the village was identified as one in need of assistance and cash aid was delivered by humanitarian organisations to 180 households out of 250.

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The 2011 drought did not affect all in the same way; even with limited incomes, some households were able to cope. Others, however, were more at risk and without aid assistance could have entered into a deadly cycle of poverty. Understanding which households are exposed to food insecurity is crucial for the government and humanitarian organisations to plan and target assistance.

How was Mia identified as a vulnerable village and who decided which households were to receive support?

This report for Save the Children documents the lessons in the use of indicators to manage food crisis and target aid assistance. The study was developed collowing a series of interviews carried out in Burkina Faso, and served as a basis for recommendations to governments in the Sahel region. The report was published in August 2013 and is available here.

Photo: family of farmers in Burkina Faso. © Claudia Delpero/Save the Children, all rights reserved.