Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Burkina Faso

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 20 June 2001
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Burkina Faso, 20 June 2001, available at: [accessed 22 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Nearly 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers from more than 20 African countries resided in Burkina Faso at the end of 2000.

Refugees in Burkina Faso

Most of the nearly 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers lived in the country's capital, Ouagadougou. About 400 of them received limited assistance from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Assistance included a three-month stipend equivalent to as much as $120 for new refugee families, subsidized medical care, small business loans equivalent to as much as $400, and more than 60 educational scholarships.

Some 100 or more refugees and asylum seekers attempted to storm the UNHCR office compound in the capital in August to protest what they regarded as inadequate financial support and poor housing assistance from UNHCR. Some of the refugee protesters also sought permanent resettlement outside of Africa.

Some UN officials publicly doubted that the asylum seekers were entitled to refugee protection and raised suspicion that the demonstrators remained in Burkina Faso in hopes of gaining resettlement abroad through UNHCR. UNHCR attempted to bolster the capacity of the government's weak National Refugee Commission to adjudicate asylum claims.

Burkina Faso is one of the few countries in Africa that has formally agreed, since 1998, to provide permanent resettlement as a durable solution for refugees who are unable to remain in other African asylum countries.

Migration Return to Burkina Faso

Tens of thousands of Burkinabe migrant workers returned from neighboring Côte d'Ivoire to Burkina Faso in late 2000 because of anti-foreigner tensions in Côte d'Ivoire. Some 10,000 migrants had fled from Côte d'Ivoire to Burkina Faso under similar circumstances during 1999.

Many of the migrant returnees had lived in Côte d'Ivoire for years or decades; some were born in Côte d'Ivoire and had only tenuous links to Burkina Faso. International donors provided 350 tons of relief food to the migrant returnees in January, enough to provide rations for up to 50 days. As the year ended, the returnees' living conditions were unclear.

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