Burkina Faso

Thematic areas: Humanitarian Norms – Famine – Child Protection

2022 was a tumultuous year for Burkina Faso, with two coups d’état in eight months. Civilians suffered from more violence as security and stability worsened. By the end of 2022, an estimated 2 million people were internally displaced. Most were children in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Despite the efforts of the nation’s security forces, almost half of its territory was still controlled by or under the influence of armed groups.

Throughout the year, humanitarian work became still more difficult. As respect for humanitarian norms deteriorated, humanitarian engagement with AGDAs grew even more challenging.

Geneva Call’s impact in 2022

In 2022, Geneva Call was registered in Burkina Faso and worked on introducing its mission to the Burkinabé authorities. At a second stage, Geneva Call started a humanitarian engagement with self-defense armed groups through awareness raising and training sessions on humanitarian norms. More than 200 members were trained in the importance of protecting children and education, preventing starvation and conflict-related food insecurity, and facilitating humanitarian access. This led to the signing of three Unilateral Declarations on the protection of children and education by three armed groups active in the East, North and Boucle du Mouhoun areas, which resulted in the adoption of a series of measures aimed at protecting more than 15,000 students and 30 schools in these regions. The groups took other positive steps such as exercising more control over the age of their combatants and demobilizing children under 18 years old.

Geneva Call’s outreach campaigns and booklets on the protection of children and education reached 1,000 AGDA members in these regions and they, in turn, trained others on the same humanitarian norms.

We trained more than 100 religious and community leaders to advocate for civilian protections by appealing to the decision-makers among the community’s regional authorities or AGDA leaders. In addition, three local NGOs were selected and trained to conduct sessions and campaigns on the protection of civilians, which reached more than 3,000 people and were broadcast by three national radio stations to at least 2 million people.

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