Information by Country

Burkina Faso: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
Although Burkina Faso has begun to make some socio-economic progress, the situation of women and children has yet to show substantial improvement. The country has been forced to cope with a host of recent challenges, including a major locust infestation; outbreaks of meningitis, yellow fever and cholera; the spread of HIV/AIDS; civil conflict in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire; falling export prices; and surging fuel costs. Poverty remains pervasive, increasing the vulnerability of children.

Issues facing children in Burkina Faso

  • Only 41 per cent of births are attended by trained medical personnel.
  • The nutritional status of children under age five is deteriorating. Malnutrition is especially concentrated in the northern regions that border Niger. More than 44 per cent of children suffer delayed or stunted growth.
  • Burkina Faso is one of only 12 countries where guinea worm has not yet been eradicated.
  • HIV/AIDS continues to spread among young people. An estimated 120,000 children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
  • School enrolment rates are very low, especially among girls.
  • Almost two thirds of teens and young adults under age 24 are unemployed.
  • Many girls are still subjected to genital mutilation, a practice that causes lifelong damage.


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