Continuation of "HOPE for the victims of the Sahel Crisis"

The “Tuareg rebellion” in Mali that started in January 2012 brought masses of Malian refugees across the northern borders of neighbouring Burkina Faso. Most of these refugees have ever since been staying in refugee camps in the north of Burkina Faso known as the Sahel region. The camp “Mentao” in the Province of Soum is among the biggest refugee camps in Burkina Faso, hosting 16,546 refugees (as per UNHCR data of May 2013). Living conditions in the camps are tough although many institutions, international organizations and NGOs support the refugees as good as they can. The “Opération Serval” – the military offensive led by the French army and started on 10th of January 2013 in Mali – brought even more Malian refugees (10,490 as per UNHCR fact sheet) to Burkina Faso and worsened living conditions in the camps, especially in Mentao, which is relatively close to the Malian border. Furthermore, another refugee camp (Camp Damba) that was located too close to the border, was closed by UNHCR and the concerned refugees were moved to the most southern part of Camp Mentao. Most of the newcomers were arriving in a miserable condition with weak hygienic and health conditions.

This project was a continuation of previous humanitarian aid projects of HOPE’87 in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso in support of the refugees and their host societies. It focused on the provision of food and non-food items for newly arrived refugees in Camp Mentao as well as livelihood support of the subsistence farmers in the neighbouring villages of Camp Mentao. This double track strategy aimed at preventing social tensions and clashes between the refugees and the host societies as the massive influx of refugees in Camp Mentao led to an expanded camp area and some of the spaces used were used as fields and pasture land by the local agro-pastoralists around the camp.

Following the LRRD-Approach (Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development), these projects also aimed at ultimately enhancing the resilience of the beneficiaries to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Project Background: 

Almost half of the population of Burkina Faso lives in extreme poverty and has little access to social services. Nearly one-third of the country is acutely malnourished and child malnutrition rates are among the highest in the world. The combination of climatic shocks, soaring food prices and regional political insecurity continues to strain the ability of vulnerable households to cope. Therefore, the large numbers of Malian refugees (for a small country like Burkina Faso) seeking protection in the already food-insecure and drought‐stricken regions in the north of the country risk to continue to exacerbate the already volatile food security situation of the host communities, i.e. the rural communities.

Project Type

Humanitarian Aid, Reconstruction, relief and rehabilitation

Project Duration

01/03/2013 to 31/12/2013




Burkina Faso


Sahel Region, Province of Soum, Refugee Camp Mentao and Commune de Djibo


Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), Foundation UNESCO - Education for Children in Need, HOPE’87