Burkina Faso is characterised by widespread poverty, a lack of basic infrastructure and a very young population. Internal destabilisation caused by violent conflicts and the impact of climate change are exacerbating the emergency this Sahelian country is already facing. Caritas Switzerland has been working in Burkina Faso since 2020, protecting migrants, assisting displaced persons, promoting agricultural development and strengthening the resilience of rural populations.
Migration and income generation are the main themes Caritas Switzerland is working on in Burkina Faso. Agricultural development, in particular, offers great potential. To help improve it, while protecting the environment at the same time, numerous research projects and innovative approaches are being carried out. Caritas Switzerland intends to exploit this potential for innovation to develop market systems and create new jobs, especially for young people, and to increase income for the poorest. National and international migration means migrants and internally displaced persons are leaving, returning to and transiting within the country. Growing insecurity is reducing circular migration of the workforce and causing a significant increase in the number of internally displaced persons. With regards to these people, Caritas Switzerland focuses on social and economic integration, with the aim of improving their living conditions and future prospects, as well as those of their families. Through systemic and holistic approaches, it combats extreme poverty with long-term solutions. Interventions enable particularly vulnerable families to overcome economic poverty and help strengthen the capacity of communities to cope with external shocks.
The projects in Burkina Faso are mainly implemented through local partners, in close cooperation with other Caritas Switzerland programmes in the Sahel. As part of its work in Burkina Faso, Caritas Switzerland is also involved in networks of international organisations operating in the field and in thematic working groups. Its ambition is to play a multiplier role, using existing engagement to build trust and help find innovative solutions.