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Burkina Faso

Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 15,757,000 (2009)
National language: French, native dialects
Per capita income: US$ 510 (2009)
Life expectancy: 53 years (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
76% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
11% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 166/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today! Burkina Faso, roughly the size of Colorado, is located in Western Africa and shares borders with Mali to the north and west, Niger to the east, and Ghana and the Ivory Coast to the south.

Burkina Faso is a collection of many different ethnic groups—most notably, the Mossi and the Fulani. A large and growing population, a lack of natural resources and a shortage of good farmland all contribute to widespread poverty throughout the country.

Over 90 percent of workers are engaged in agriculture, much of which is either seasonal or subsistence-level. Cotton is the only viable cash crop. Recent droughts, coupled with the violence in the Ivory Coast, have led to severe employment problems for much of the population. Almost half of Burkina Faso's population lives below the poverty line.

Plan has worked in Burkina Faso since 1980, and currently helps over 45,000 children and their families to ensure basic nutrition and health care and to promote economic improvements. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.