Burkina Faso’s Desperate Cry for Help: A Neglected Humanitarian Crisis

Burkina Faso, the West African country, is facing a dire state of emergency as it grapples with a rapidly escalating crisis. For the first time, Burkina Faso has topped the list of the world’s most neglected displacement crises, according to a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Burkina Faso has experienced a swift and devastating decline since the crisis erupted five years ago. Over 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and nearly a quarter of the population now requires humanitarian aid. Tragically, the crisis has reached a point where some people resort to eating leaves for survival. The situation is dire, with 800,000 people living in areas blockaded by armed groups, cut off from basic services.

The NRC report highlights that the crisis in Burkina Faso and other neglected displacement crises resulted from a lack of humanitarian funding, media attention, and international political and diplomatic initiatives. The redirection of aid money towards other pressing global issues, such as the displacement crisis in Ukraine, has left Burkina Faso and other vulnerable countries grappling with decreased assistance despite growing needs. The report reveals that last year, there were five times more articles written about the Ukrainian crisis than about all the ten most neglected crises combined. The lack of funding and resources has contributed to increased food insecurity and further exacerbated the suffering of the affected population.

Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of the NRC, stresses that neglect is a choice and that the international community must prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable. The report highlights the urgent need for increased funding, resources, and international support based on humanitarian needs rather than geopolitical interests. It also calls for greater investment in diplomatic solutions to address emerging crises like Burkina Faso. The neglect of such crises not only perpetuates the suffering of millions but also undermines the effectiveness of the international humanitarian system.

The crisis in Burkina Faso represents a grave humanitarian emergency that demands immediate attention and action from the global community. Being at the top of the neglected displacement crises underscores the urgent need for increased funding, media attention, and diplomatic initiatives. The neglect faced by Burkina Faso and other vulnerable countries is not inevitable, and reversing this situation requires a collective effort to allocate resources based on need rather than political expediency. The lives of millions of people suffering in silence can only improve if the international community acts swiftly and provides the necessary support to alleviate their suffering and restore hope for a better future.