Reduction of food insecurity during the lean season in Burkina Faso

Country: 
Burkina Faso
Region: 
Commune rurale de Komsilga, Région du Centre
Project Duration: 
01/05/2013 to 31/12/2013
Status: 
Completed
Donor(s): 
European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), HOPE'87
Project Description: 

This humanitarian aid project, financed by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office aims at supporting 2.500 poor households in the Région du Centre of Burkina Faso during the lean period between the using-up of last year’s harvest and the new harvest where the households are in a state of extreme food insecurity and especially children are at risk of malnutrition (often called ‘hunger gap’). The households that were chosen as beneficiaries for this project are the households of the Rural Community of Komsilga, not far from the country’s capital Ouagadougou, who are considered as “very poor” or “poor” according to the criteria of the Household Economic Approach (HEA).   

The strategic approach chosen to support these households in bridging the ‘hunger gap’ is assistance via unconditional cash transfers during the months when they are most at risk (July, August, September).  In addition, those households with children between 6-24 months receive baby food enriched with nutritional ingredients to reduce the risk of malnutrition of these particularly vulnerable children.

In partnership with DG ECHO and in cooperation with other humanitarian organizations that follow a similar approach for their interventions in Burkina Faso, new instruments and operational guides on food security will also be developed during this project. The latter shall act as a plea for the fight against malnutrition and food insecurity and shall increase and improve responses from national and international actors.    

Cross cutting issues: 

Environmental Sustainability, Hazard Risk Reduction, Democracy & Human Rights, Gender Equality

Project Background: 

The severe drought in Burkina Faso in the agricultural season of 2011/2012 has caused a massive decrease in agricultural production and a food crisis that is still showing after-effects for poor agro-pastoral households. The most vulnerable households were not able to recover fully from this crisis and are now suffering from a lack of food, especially during the lean season (sometimes also referred to as ‘hunger gap’). The latter refers to the critical months (usually July to September) when last year’s harvest is used up but the new crops (and thus source of food and only income) are not yet ripe for harvesting. High food prices especially in the semi-urban regions around Ouagadougou are further aggravating the situation of the poor households in the Région du Centre of Burkina Faso and risk to deteriorate their health and nutrition situation.