Emergency in the Sahel


The situation in the Sahel is the fastest growing displacement and protection crisis in the world. Conflict areas continue to expand, overwhelmingly affecting women and children.   


Armed groups carry out extreme and random acts of violence in the region, forcing people to flee. 
3.2 million
internally displaced people
1 million
refugees and asylum seekers
5.2 million
returnees in need of assistance
schools destroyed or shut down in 2022
A growing crisis  

The conflict continues to grow along the borders of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, and threatens to spread to coastal States.   

In Burkina Faso, there are more than 1 million internally displaced people, a fourfold increase in one year.   

Aggravating factors and impoverished populations  

The humanitarian and protection crisis has been worsened by the consequences of climate change and food insecurity.  

The COVID-19 pandemic is a compounding factor; the disease has started spreading to areas where refugees and internally displaced persons are being hosted. The steady increase in infection rates indicates a looming health crisis in a region where insecurity has disrupted health services.   

Women and children are the first victims of this crisis, and national facilities are overwhelmed. 

UNHCR's response

Despite the arbitrary killing of civilians, the rape of women, the destruction of health facilities and schools, the resources allocated to humanitarian aid and development are insufficient. 

We have:  

  • provided emergency shelter to 154,024 displaced people    
  • treated victims of sexual and gender-based violence through the deployment of mobile clinics  
  • helped 338,411 people get essential health care through our COVID-19 response 
  • helped 12,000 children from uprooted and host communities continue their education through distance learning, following school closures 
We need your support

Given the magnitude of the crisis, we have scaled up our support.  

With over 4 million people forced to flee their homes, the need for shelter, water, sanitation, health and other basic assistance is overwhelming.   

We need more than CHF 200 million in order to provide urgent protection and life-saving assistance to refugees, displaced people and host communities.   

Now is the time to act. We need your help.