Burkina Faso Poverty

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. Burkina Faso Poverty

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 Burkina Faso 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 issues.

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.


Burkina Faso Poverty

Burkina Faso Poverty

Burkina Faso Poverty

Burkina Faso Poverty



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