Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel region of Africa. With most of the economy engaged in agriculture, especially cotton, Burkina Faso's economy is highly susceptible to fluctuations in world commodity prices and natural disasters. Since most farmers engage in subsistence farming, recurring prolonged droughts and severe floods have led to widespread and chronic food shortages. In addition, instability in Mali has led to an influx of refugees, adding to the populations' already vulnerable state. Low levels of education, gender inequality, and the persistence of preventable diseases and malnutrition compromise the country's ability to meet its basic needs.
Latest Stories From Burkina Faso
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See how CRS eases the suffering of refugees with lifesaving clean water, food kits, medicine and other essentials. »»
From Europeans fleeing countries during WWII to Somalis, Syrians and Malians today, the Church works through CRS to protect and advocate for refugees. »»
By providing improved nutrition, a Burkina Faso clinic helps moms enjoy the blessings of two babies. »»
|Population:||18,365,123 (July 2014 est.)|
|Size:||105,869 sq. mi.; slightly larger than Colorado|
Catholic Relief Services was established in Burkina Faso in 1960, following the invitation of the country's bishops. As the first and longest-standing international development organization in the country, CRS began its work by providing humanitarian and food aid to Burkina shortly after its independence from France. In 1962, CRS expanded its mandate, providing education assistance, especially school feeding.
Since that time, CRS has continued to provide humanitarian and food aid, as well as emergency responses to repeated severe droughts. CRS has spent more than half a century implementing programs that support agriculture, education, emergency relief, food security, peace and justice, maternal and child health, HIV and AIDS prevention, nutrition, water and sanitation, and microfinance.