Improving the Protection and Dignity of People Affected by the Humanitarian, Food, and Nutritional Crises through a Multisectoral Response
Burkina Faso’s humanitarian crisis continued to escalate in 2023 with five of the six provinces in the Boucle du Mouhoun region affected by this crisis. Forced displacement and human rights violations have become recurrent and the situation is negatively affecting the health system, which has reached a level of disorganization never before seen in the country. In addition, the need for protection from gender-based violence (GBV), particularly sexual exploitation and abuse, is increasing with the deteriorating security situation, affecting internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the host community alike. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to GBV and the humanitarian crisis is exacerbating the challenges of protecting them.
This program, funded by UNOCHA and implemented by EngenderHealth in collaboration with SOS Jeunesse et Defis, aims to improve the protection and dignity of people affected by the humanitarian, food, and nutrition crisis in the Boucle du Mouhoun region of Burkina Faso. The program focuses on providing access to primary health care, multi-sectoral management of GBV cases, medical management of severe and acute malnutrition, and access to water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) infrastructure.
This program aims to prevent GBV and promote WASH–particularly for those living in areas with poor access to primary healthcare–through community engagement, health system strengthening, and connections between GBV, WASH, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
The project hopes to increase community involvement–especially community leaders, men, and boys–in preventing GBV and in supporting survivors by promoting positive masculinity. We will simultaneously engage women’s associations in awareness-raising and orientation activities for survivors, monitoring of GBV risks, and managing spaces dedicated to women and girls. The project will mitigate GBV risk through multiple interventions, including distributing dignity kits, facilitating unconditional cash transfers, and supporting referral networks for survivors to critical services. We will also strengthen multi-sectoral solutions by establishing a GBV case management service, providing of rape kits, and improving linkages to legal and judicial services.
The project will also address malnutrition by strengthening the skills of peripheral health center agents on screening and early referrals of complications, supporting health training in auxiliary human resources, and assisting mothers of children experiencing malnutrition with the cost of hospital stays through fund transfers. We will also help ensure the availability of emergency SRH services by strengthening the skills of community health workers and village birth attendants to provide contraceptive methods, support hygienic deliveries, and manage post-partum haemorrhages, by providing the necessary medicines and tools for these services.
To ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation support for those affected by the crisis, the program will build water pumps and latrine blocks; this will reduce the risk of water-borne disease and encourage hygiene practices. Project WASH activities will also integrate GBV protection and SRH promotion activities and support menstrual hygiene management, including by training community mobilization actors on WASH, GBV, and SRH.