Coronavirus a Major Risk for 700,000 Displaced in Burkina Faso

03/31/2020 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – Over the past two years, violence in Burkina Faso has increased at a higher rate than any other country in Africa. Attacks by Jihadist militants who have travelled south from Mali have caused more than 700,000 people to flee from their homes and communities. This massive displaced population has been struggling to survive in the poor and arid country. Unlike many other countries in Africa where large displaced populations exist, Burkina Faso has very little arable land. This means that not only do these refugees not have homes, but they are not able to farm little plots of land to make food or money.

Now, with the rise of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, Burkina Faso’s IDPs are particularly at risk. Burkina Faso already has the most positive cases of the disease in West Africa, and had the first reported case of death from the virus in Africa. Now the large displaced population could face devastation from the disease. IDP camps are highly likely to suffer mass cases of viruses such as COVID-19 due to the close proximity of so many people and the scarce resources that must be shared by so many. Even the IDPs who are not staying in camps, but sheltering with family or friends, are more likely to get the disease because of the large number of people forced to pack into small houses.

Food shortages and poor access to water, hygiene and healthcare are also going to negatively affect this population as the virus continues to grow and ravage the global community. Please remember to pray for those who are not fortunate enough to have homes to shelter in, food to save up or healthcare that can take care of them if they become sick.

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