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Large-Scale Attack and Suspended Humanitarian Access Underscore Risk of Famine in Djibo, Burkina Faso

  • news
  • Burkina Faso
  • for immediate release: December 12, 2023
Large-Scale Attack and Suspended Humanitarian Access Underscore Risk of Famine in Djibo, Burkina Faso


Washington, D.C. – Rising insecurity, the suspension of humanitarian food deliveries, and a recent large-scale attack on military and civilians by armed terrorist groups (ATGs) are driving increasing alarm for the people of Djibo, Burkina Faso, who have been experiencing severe hunger throughout 2023.

Since February 2023, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has warned that up to 300,000 people in the town of Djibo face a risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5)

In an Alert issued Tuesday, FEWS NET emphasized that a Famine (IPC Phase 5) could occur if the ongoing conflict intensifies and already limited humanitarian efforts are further restricted. 

“For nearly two years, terrorist groups have cut off populations' access to fields, obstructed market supply flows, and significantly limited humanitarian access to Djibo,” FEWS NET Team Leader Kiersten Johnson said.

Humanitarian relief plans for Djibo have been severely underfunded throughout 2023, and due to rising insecurity, planned cargo flights with food aid were suspended in mid-to-late October. In November, just one percent of the population of Djibo received humanitarian assistance.

Amid this suspension in aid deliveries, on November 26, ATGs coordinated a large-scale attack that led to the burning of food storage facilities and further restricted movement around Djibo. Key informants report many households are surviving off of just one meal a day and are supplementing other meals with wild leaves.

FEWS NET is calling on donors, governments, and humanitarian partners to take immediate action to prevent and treat acute malnutrition and illness in Djibo, and reduce the risk of death and destitution.

“The global community does not need to wait for a formal Famine declaration – a classification that represents a failure to prevent a critical mass of daily, hunger-related deaths – before taking urgent action,” Johnson said. “Increased funding and access for humanitarian relief efforts are needed to save lives right now.”

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Hannah Button
Famine Early Warning Systems Network

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