Burkina Faso is one of the
poorest countries in the world
with just under half its population living under the poverty line.
Suffering from limited natural resources and being landlocked, the
country also has a high population density being home to 16 million
citizens, 10% of who carry the AIDS virus.
Burkina Faso is also billions of pounds in debt.
The majority of Burkinabe
are engaged in subsistence farming growing peanuts, shea nuts, sesame,
sorghum, millet, corn and rice as well as rearing livestock, however the country, along with many
West African countries has serious water
issues with only two rivers that flow throughout the year. As such, much of the food
required is imported from abroad, with rice being imported from places as
distant as the Far East. Naturally this has cost implications where
dealing with such basic necessities.
The country's main exports
are cotton and gold, and again, the country was badly hit by the economic
global downturn in the latter part of the first decade of the
twenty-first century. Poverty in Burkina Faso has also been exacerbated
by a spate of recent heavy flooding. The floods of the rainy season of
2009 were the worst in ninety years, and just as the country was getting
back on its feet further deluges in 2010 again hit the country displacing
100,000 and destroying crops.
Matters were compounded following the
recent troubles in the Ivory Coast as a large proportion of the male
labour force migrates there annually for seasonal employment
however this income generating opportunity is currently unavailable. The
country also suffers from a weak industrial base. The short video
documentary above explores poverty in Burkina Faso
and shows some of the work programs being undertaken to address the
Human Development Index for
Burkina Faso 1980 - Present
The HDI (Human Development Index) is measured by the UNESCO Institute
for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy,
literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country. Burkina
Faso is in 183rd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 and
the chart below shows how levels of poverty and living standards in Burkina Faso fall far
short of even sub-Saharan standards.