Kongoussi - Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

The security situation in Burkina Faso rapidly deteriorated in 2019, as fighting between armed groups continue – currently the humanitarian crisis is one of the fastest growing in the world.

We are seeing an increase in violence against civilians, while the health system is often overwhelmed in areas with some attacks on facilities and healthcare workers. 

Insecurity and indiscriminate violence have forced close to 1.4 million people in Burkina Faso to leave their homes. Many now live in makeshift shelters with little access to food, water or healthcare services. MSF has significantly increased our activities since 2019 as the displacement crisis has worsened. On top of the violence, the country faces massive healthcare issues such as malaria, food insecurity and poverty. 

Our teams also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country in 2020 and 2021.

Our activities in 2021 in Burkina Faso

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF in Burkina Faso in 2021 In spite of rising insecurity in Burkina Faso, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was able to adapt activities and continue to provide lifesaving care to thousands of people in 2021.

In December 2021, the number of internally displaced people in Burkina Faso passed the 1.5 million mark, almost eight per cent of the total population, due to an upsurge in conflict between non-state armed groups and national and international forces. Sahel, Nord, Centre-Nord, Boucle du Mouhoun, Hauts-Bassins and Est were the most severely affected regions.

The deteriorating security situation made it harder for MSF and other humanitarian and medical organisations to access remote areas and for patients to access healthcare; medical facilities were shut down or attacked, ambulances were hijacked, and medical staff were abducted. This forced us to adapt our projects and support in some places in Est, Sahel and Centre-Nord. For instance, we suspended our activities in Foubé in November after the centre we supported was burnt down.

Throughout the year, we continued to provide medical assistance to host and displaced communities across five of the country’s 13 regions, focusing on major health problems, such as epidemics and seasonal malaria peaks, meningitis, hepatitis E, measles, water-borne diseases, mental health and sexual violence. Our teams trucked in water and constructed and renovated boreholes to address the severe shortage of drinking water exacerbated by the ongoing conflict.

We also launched several emergency interventions, in response to outbreaks of violence and displacement, for example following the attack on Solhan village in the Sahel region on 5 June 2021, the deadliest since 2015. We provided psychological support to the people who remained in the village or found refuge in the surrounding communities, and referred those requiring further treatment to health centres in Ouagadougou. During these emergency responses, we distributed kits containing cooking and hygiene items, and provided medical care through mobile clinics or at health posts built on the spot.


in 2021
Internally displaced people in Kaya, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso

Violence and severe supply shortages leave people across Burkina Faso in dire need

Interview 17 Oct 2022
Dedougou health centre
Burkina Faso

Thousands displaced after escalating violence in Boucle du Mouhoun region

Project Update 26 Aug 2022
Burkina Faso - Access to health INTER
Burkina Faso

Enormous needs for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by ongoing conflict and insecurity

Project Update 27 Jun 2022
Burkina Faso Crisis
Burkina Faso

Four things to know about the crisis in Burkina Faso

Project Update 28 Jan 2022
Barsalogho IDP camp
Burkina Faso

Healthcare centre burnt down amid surge of violence in Foube

Project Update 23 Nov 2021
Medical center, Barsalogho
Burkina Faso

Conflict in Burkina Faso: “Many people are afraid to sleep at night”

Interview 11 Jun 2021
Conflict in Burkina Faso: when the whole day is devoted to fetching water
Burkina Faso

Conflict in Burkina Faso: when the whole day is devoted to fetching water

Project Update 2 Jun 2021
Mobile clinic in villages around Titao
Refugees, IDPs and people on the move

Burkina Faso: providing healthcare in a region ravaged by violence

Project Update 4 May 2021
Burkina Faso

Displaced in Burkina Faso face extra challenges amid increasing violence and rain

Project Update 16 Jul 2020
Up Next
4 November 2020