OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina-Faso, March 26, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Two million people in Burkina Faso need humanitarian assistance because of the food security and nutrition crisis in the region. The Government has developed a response plan in cooperation with humanitarian and development partners, centered on building resilience.
During a two-day visit to Burkina Faso, John Ging, OCHA Director for Operations, said, “This response plan takes a commendably innovative approach, as it aims to address the most urgent humanitarian needs, but does so with interventions that help strengthen the longer-term resilience of the population.” These include practical steps like improving water conservation, maximizing efficient irrigation, and increasing agriculture output through better fertilization practices and seed choices, as well as livestock management.
The plan, developed by the Government in consultation with humanitarian and development partners, needs a total of US$ 224 million. The Government has put forward $US 37 million of their own funding and donors have pledged a further US$ 79 million, leaving a gap of US$ 108 million.
During his visit, Mr. Ging met senior officials including the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Laurent Sedego, and the Minister of Social Affairs, Ms. Clemence Traore, and discussed efforts by the Government to improve food security and nutrition, and health and education for refugees and other people in need. Mr. Ging noted that the authorities in Burkina Faso are taking the same creative approach to current food security and nutrition challenges as they did to increasing access to clean drinking water. This won the Government an award at the 2010 Millennium Development Summit.
John Ging also complimented the Government on the hospitality it has shown towards some 22,000 refugees who have recently arrived from Mali. “In a world that can be inhospitable to refugees, the people and Government of Burkina Faso provide us with a role model of humanity and hospitality for people seeking refuge and escaping conflict,” he said.