This humanitarian aid project, financed by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office aimed 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. The households that were chosen as beneficiaries for this project were the households of the Rural Community of Komsilga, not far from the country’s capital Ouagadougou, which 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 received 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 were also developed during this project.

Project Background: 

The severe drought in Burkina Faso in the agricultural season of 2011/2012 caused a massive decrease in agricultural production and a food crisis that showed long-term after-effects for poor agro-pastoral households. The most vulnerable households were not able to recover fully from this crisis and were consequently 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.

Project Type

Humanitarian Aid, Reconstruction, relief and rehabilitation

Project Duration

01/05/2013 to 31/12/2013




Burkina Faso


Commune rurale de Komsilga, Région du Centre


European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), HOPE'87