Fatoumata, 67 and her family moved several times to escape from armed attacks. Originally from Sigue-Raguin, she fled the first time to seek safety in Foubé. But the executions and threats continued and they had to flee from Foubé to Kaya.

"The armed men have chased us away from our homes and killed our loved ones. That’s why we fled and came here. We don’t have any food, we don’t have a roof over our head, we have nothing at all. We are asking for assistance." She said.

"We left yesterday and arrived here today. We haven’t eaten anything since the sun rose. 

Just the day before yesterday, 6 people were caught and killed while they were on the road. After this, the attackers went to… I don’t remember where, but so many people have been killed. 

We were all filled with fear so we immediately took to the road and by the grace of God we were able to escape. Our wish is to settle down in peace and receive some food or any other assistance. What we need the most is some assistance and a place where we can stay. All we are praying for now is to receive some assistance." Fatoumata added.

Date: 21 January 2020
Location: Kaya - Center North Burkina Faso
Photo: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC
Read caption "The armed men have chased us away from our homes and killed our loved ones. That’s why we fled and came here. We don’t have any food, we don’t have a roof over our head, we have nothing at all. We are asking for assistance." says Fatoumata, 67. She and her family have moved several times to escape armed attacks. Photo: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC

NRC in Burkina Faso and Niger

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) set up operations in Burkina Faso and Niger in 2019 to serve those affected by the crisis sweeping through the two countries.



A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2019.


Humanitarian overview

Situated in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. A rise in cross-border attacks with non-state armed groups targeting armed forces and community leaders has led to a deterioration in the security situation. The country is also part of the migration route towards Northern Africa, and has received many refugees from Nigeria, Mali and lately from Burkina Faso. These aspects have combined to cause significant humanitarian needs in the country that the state has limited capacity to address.

Also situated in the Sahel, Burkina Faso has experienced an unprecedented rise in violence and humanitarian needs since early 2019. The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country has rapidly increased as the government struggles to contain the incursions and attacks of non-state armed groups. In January 2019, there were approximately 20,000 IDPs. As of April 2020, it is estimated that there are more than 848,000 IDPs in the country. This increase is expected to continue over the following months.

NRC's operation

In March 2019, NRC opened a country office in Niger aiming to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the country. Due to the emergency needs across the border in Burkina Faso, NRC initiated a response there in July 2019. We opened an office in Burkina Faso in August 2019 and started our emergency response in the Centre North region and later expanded into other provinces. Both countries are combined under one management in order to keep costs down and to facilitate synergies between the countries.

Our interventions include shelter, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and livelihoods, and food security (LFS). In addition to this, there are opportunities to complement the response with information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA) in both countries, especially in Burkina Faso where we will provide support on housing, land and property (HLP) issues.

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

Our livelihoods team are:

  • Supporting targeted households with income generating activities (IGAs) and reducing their negative coping mechanisms
  • Improving access to food for the most vulnerable IDPs using the standard food ration value per household
  • Looking into cash and market-based approaches across the multi-sectoral response


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

Our shelter teams are:

  • Providing essential household items such as lifesaving non-food items (NFIs) like kitchen sets, bedding, clothes, mosquito nets, etc.
  • Providing complete shelter solutions either through temporary or transitional models (Sahelian adapted model)
  • Conducting site-coordination activities, especially site planning, to enable the installation of shelters and minimum basic services, delivered by NRC or in coordination with other actors


NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

Our WASH teams:

  • Promote good sanitation and hygiene in schools and communities and rehabilitate WASH infrastructures


NRC EducationEducation

Focusing on education in emergencies, we are:

  • Supporting the formal system to increase hosting capacity for IDP children
  • Providing adapted learning conditions to ensure the retention of students in schools
  • Conducting awareness raising campaigns within the schools to promote inclusive education, enhance social cohesion and peaceful cohabitation between displaced and host community children
  • Distributing education kits to improve the learning conditions of students
  • Rehabilitating schools and classrooms
  • Working to improve access to education in areas where schools are forcibly closed by armed groups, while protecting children from harm and promoting safe and inclusive learning environments
  • Providing vocational trainings for marginalised youth while promoting apprenticeships, mentoring and career guidance

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

We are exploring options to start ICLA programmes in Burkina Faso and Niger.

  • In Burkina Faso initial steps have been taken to start activities that complement our shelter programmes. This includes, securing tenure for displaced people and resolving different land issues related to displacement.
  • In Niger, we will start a project in Maradi with UNHCR on the prevention of statelessness. The project will ensure that both Nigerian refugees and the Nigerien population living along the border have access to civil documentation.


NRC Camp managementCamp management

Our camp management teams are:

  • Supporting UNHCR with the coaching of partner organisations and capacity building on camp management within the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) site in Niger
  • We are also working with national NGOs who are UNHCR partners responsible for running the Hamdallayeh ETM site


Rapid Response

Considering the fast deterioration of the humanitarian situation with new displacements occurring especially in Burkina Faso, we are implementing an effective first line response that is essential to saving lives. Within Maradi in Niger, we responded to the first wave of Nigerian refugees. We are looking to continue this emergency response with potential partnerships within Rapid Response Mechanism consortiums.

Advocacy Initiatives

Our advoacy focusses on promoting initiatives that draw attention to this crisis in the first quarter of 2020, including issues relevant to the Sahel approach across different countries. We are working with various media outlets to promote the rights of affected populations and to increase the overall level of funding.

Market Based (Cash) Assistance

We are looking into the modality of market-based approaches across a multisectoral response. Market analyses will be conducted to enable the progressive introduction of cash transfer mechanism for both shelter and WASH responses. Currently, there are discussions with the World Food Programme for cash-based interventions in the Centre North region and potentially in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso.


Plans for scaling up

Burkina Faso:

  • Sahel region: an assessment has been carried out and NRC plans to intervene in the hardest to reach areas of the Sahel region, including Pensa, Foube and Dablo.
  • NRC will expand into emergency water supply (ensuring longer-term solutions planning) and train communities on operation and maintenance. We will also supply maintenance kits to schools and public latrines.


  • Tillabéri: Further expansion into areas bordering Mali and Burkina Faso, focusing on Ayourou department.
  • Maradi: Planning is going into durable solutions, such as classroom construction in refugee resettlement areas and livelihood opportunities for youth in both refugee and vulnerable host population communities.


About nrc in Burkina Faso

Budget 2019
32 million NOK
International staff
National staff


Country Director

Manenji Mangundu


+226 65524302 / +227 92016774
NRC Burkina Faso and Niger are grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • Education Cannot Wait
  • German Federal Foregin Office (GFFO)
  • Centre for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)