U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 1997 - Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso hosted more than 25,000 refugees at the end of 1996, including nearly 25,000 from Mali and about 1,000 from various other countries. Malian refugees have fled to Burkina Faso in recent years to escape fighting between the government and an armed insurgency in their own country. Two peace agreements in Mali have encouraged refugees to return home. Several thousand Malians are believed to have repatriated from Burkina Faso during 1995-96, but the exact number is uncertain. Officials in Mali claimed that some 8,000 refugees repatriated from Burkina Faso in 1996; UNHCR officials in Burkina Faso counted about 1,500 repatriations to Mali during the year. A majority of the refugees remaining in Burkina Faso indicated that they eventually planned to return to Mali with at least partial UNHCR assistance. UNHCR expected to facilitate repatriations throughout 1997. Most refugees in the process of heading home were eligible to receive kits containing tents, blankets, cooking utensils, soap, and at least three months of food assistance. Most Malian, Nigerien, and various other refugees in Burkina Faso resided at nine rural sites primarily located in the north. About 1,000 lived in urban areas. UNHCR provided basic care and maintenance programs consisting of food, health, shelter, education, and water supplies, on a budget of $2.1 million. UNHCR conducted a census in December to verify the size of the refugee population. n

This 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.