For over a year, people in the town of Djibo, Burkina Faso have been living under blockade by non-state armed groups, surviving with little food, water, and electricity. With restricted movement and limited means of communication, access to basic services like health care is severely lacking.
The blockade of Djibo is just part of the unprecedented humanitarian crisis currently afflicting Burkina Faso. Almost two million people have fled ongoing clashes between the Burkinabe defense and security forces and armed groups. Clashes on Djibo’s outskirts have resulted in a mass influx of people seeking refuge in the town. Of its 300,000 inhabitants, 90 percent are internally displaced, living in camps or with host families. Half are children.
Caught in the conflict, people in Djibo are relying on humanitarian assistance to survive as living conditions deteriorate rapidly. Resources are so scarce that for long periods of time, people living there have resorted to eating leaves. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding to the needs of malnourished children, supporting Djibo’s health center, and rehabilitating water infrastructure, but more support is needed to sufficiently address the lack of food in the coming months.
Preventing child malnutrition
"I had nothing left to eat for my children," said Safi, a 30-year-old mother of five. Safi’s husband was killed by armed groups on the way to Djibo, where their whole family sought refuge after fleeing the nearby village of Yalanga.