As millions of Burkinabes struggle to meet their daily needs, the ever-present threats of food and water scarcity across the Sahel region make life more tenuous.
Poor health is a significant barrier to Burkina Faso’s development. Approximately 27 per cent of children in the country suffer from moderate or severe growth stunting caused by chronic malnutrition during early childhood. The country currently holds the highest infant mortality rate of all of countries in which Compassion works, with approximately 53 infants dying for every 1000 born.
The overwhelming majority of people make their living from subsistence agriculture, which is vulnerable to drought, floods, and in recent times, locust plagues. Burkina Faso has a very young population: 46 per cent is under 14 and two-thirds younger than 30 years old. Many young people are frustrated by the lack of opportunity for education and reliable work. Almost one-third of primary school-aged students aren’t enrolled; instead, they often work the land in an attempt to boost their family’s income.