UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has airlifted 88 tons of emergency aid for refugees and people internally displaced in Burkina Faso, following its urgent appeal on the Sahel.
Violence in Burkina Faso has uprooted 921,400 people, while the country also hosts 21,000 refugees who have fled violence in Mali. The conditions for people forced to flee are dire, with many sleeping rough or staying in makeshift shelters.
The start of the rainy season, which this year brought exceptionally strong winds and heavy rainfalls, further exacerbates the need for shelter. Almost 70,000 internally displaced persons are currently residing in flood prone areas in Centre Nord and the Sahel regions.
UNHCR and its partners estimate that, in Burkina Faso, some 890,000 are in need of shelter assistance.
So far, the refugee agency has provided 10,000 shelters. The airlift of 21,300 plastic sheets is expected to provide shelter or reinforce the homes of up to some 30,000 people forced to flee, allowing to decongest the most overcrowded sites.
The arrival which coincides with World Refugee Day, is among the first response to UNHCR’s appeal for US$186 million for refugee and displacement crisis in Sahel.
Launched last Friday in Geneva, the appeal aims to provide lifesaving protection and assistance to refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities in the central Sahel region.
“As the Sahel faces a humanitarian and protection crisis of major proportions, every action counts. This airlift will ensure thousands of vulnerable and displaced families in Burkina Faso now have a shelter,” says Ioli Kimyaci, UNHCR Representative in Burkina Faso.”