Number of children facing catastrophic hunger to soar 11-fold in Burkina Faso by mid-2023

DAKAR, 10 December – The number of children facing catastrophic hunger in Burkina Faso could skyrocket up to eleven-fold in the next six months as the country faces its worst food crisis in over a decade, Save the Children said.

An estimated 10,000 children in the West African country will experience the worst form of hunger during the June-August 2023 lean season, a sharp spike from just 900 earlier this year, according to a new joint survey by Save the Children and other agencies in the region.

Conflict, climate shocks and economic decline are fuelling the rapidly worsening hunger crisis in Burkina Faso. Increasing violence in the country has forced nearly 1.8 million people to flee their homes since 2019, leaving behind their crops, basic supplies and livelihoods.

Abdou Malam Dodo, Regional Food, Security and Livelihood Advisor for Save the Children in West and Central Africa, said:

“2022 has been one of the most difficult years for children and their families on record in Burkina Faso and 2023 is set to be even worse. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been forced to flee to different communities in search of refuge and food. If the hunger crisis continues to worsen, host communities will be pushed to their limits.

“Without urgent action in the coming months, we expect to see a growing number of families resorting to increasingly desperate measures to survive, such as selling off the small number of assets they own to afford food, and reducing or skipping meals. The time to act is now. Children’s lives depend on it.”

Save the Children is calling on world leaders, donors, members of the UN, and non-governmental organisations to prioritise funding in Burkina Faso for the necessary services to support and protect children impacted by the hunger crisis, and ensure their resilience.

Source: Save the Children

Outlook for 2023: 339 million people need humanitarian assistance

The United Nations published its Global Humanitarian Overview 2023 today: one in 23 people on this Earth needs help in order to survive.

Conflicts, the climate crisis and Covid are leading to growing hardship

Today the United Nations is presenting its Humanitarian Response Plans for 2023. They provide an overview of the humanitarian situation in the world. The United Nations estimates that 339 million people worldwide are in need of humanitarian assistance. Only a year ago, it was 274 million people. Conflicts, the climate crisis and Covid are leading to growing hardship

In particular Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is responsible for the sharp rise in hardship this year. Not only people in Ukraine directly affected by the attack are suffering. Global price increases and food shortages are also potentially life-threatening for people who live thousands of kilometres away from the war.

The effects of the climate crisis are also increasing hardship around the world: in Pakistan, for example, floods have left a third of the country under water. The consequences of the dramatic floods are still far from remedied. The Horn of Africa is experiencing its fifth consecutive summer of drought with disastrous consequences for people, animals and vegetation.

The effects of the pandemic are also still very apparent: they have been triggering global price increases on the food and energy markets for almost three years now.

3.2 billion euro for humanitarian assistance

During the last few years, Germany has increased its humanitarian commitment considerably. In 2022, the Federal Foreign Office has made available 3.2 billion euro for humanitarian assistance. This has enabled our partners to alleviate the most acute hardship of many people. Humanitarian assistance means, for example:

warm blankets and emergency care for people in Ukraine via the UNHCR

tarpaulins, tents and food packages for the families hit by the floods in Pakistan

grain supplies for those affected by drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa

Particularly given the growing hardship around the world, the German Government is keen to continue Germany’s strong humanitarian engagement. Germany is the world’s second-largest humanitarian donor and remains a reliable partner for the planet’s most vulnerable people. However, it is also clear that one country alone cannot meet the global need for humanitarian assistance. That is why we are encouraging more countries to become humanitarian donors. At the same time, we are calling for the assistance to be used more efficiently. When assistance is planned and implemented efficiently and as anticipatory as possible, more people can be helped with the same amount of money. We are working on this with our international partners in the Grand Bargain. One way forward is to expand the share of flexible funding pledges. The Federal Foreign Office is also working to provide more anticipatory humanitarian assistance. This assistance is supplied before a disaster is expected to happen. For, just as in other spheres, prevention is more effective and less expensive than cure in humanitarian assistance. In 2023, the Federal Foreign Office will make available five percent of its funds for anticipatory humanitarian assistance.

Source: Government of Germany

African, Caribbean and Pacific States Forge Strategic Cooperation on Migration Across Continents

Luanda — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) signed today a cooperation agreement on enhanced and more strategic cooperation on migration in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

“This renewed partnership will encourage a broader participation of all relevant state and non-state actors to design and implement evidence-based and gender-responsive policies and migration frameworks to empower migrants and achieve inclusive, sustainable socio-economic development,” IOM Director General António Vitorino said after signing the agreement at the 10th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the OACPS in the Angolan capital.

The agreement marks a new page in the long-standing OACPS-IOM partnership, expanding cooperation to all areas of migration governance. This includes regional integration, migration and development, migrants’ rights, labour migration, migration data, migrant health, climate change, gender and youth aspects of migration, countering discrimination, xenophobia, human trafficking, and migrant smuggling.

IOM’s role in supporting policy dialogue on migration in particular within the OACPS — EU Dialogue on Migration and Development is reinforced as an observer organization and co-secretariat of this Dialogue.

This new partnership will allow OACPS and IOM to jointly promote convergent approaches to migration governance and well-managed migration policies across the continents and regions.

Source: International Organization for Migration