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Kounda Asmaou collects clean water for her family on November 8, 2013 in Badnoogo village, Burkina Faso. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Convening partners to improve the health and nutrition of women, children and adolescents in Burkina Faso

This $30 million programme supports governmental efforts to tackle malnutrition, scaling-up a range of high-impact nutrition interventions, supporting pregnant women and young children.


  • UK Aid
  • World Bank
  • Comic Relief US
  • Government of Burkina Faso


  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health & Wellbeing
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals




Burkina Faso


2018 - 2024

Burkina Faso is a small country with a population of 18 million, which in 2016 ranked 185 out of 188 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. Fortunately, the country has seen a decrease in child malnutrition: in 2010 stunting rates were at 35%, decreasing to 27% in 2016. However, these rates vary significantly between regions; six out of 13 regions still face stunting of 30% or more. Likewise, in 2014, 83% of children under five and 64% of women of reproductive age were found to be anaemic. Women with anaemia during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to preterm and low-birth weight babies (which is linked to mortality), and infants and children with anaemia are at higher risk of developmental difficulties.

The Government’s ability to address stunting is hampered by a lack of resources – this is combined with growing challenges caused by climate change (leading to food insecurity), a limited capacity in healthcare and growing security concerns.

Our programme

The Power of Nutrition convened partners to tackle these challenges and support the Government of Burkina Faso to address malnutrition. Partners included Comic Relief USA and UK Aid, which helped incentivise the concessional loaning of $20 million from the World Bank.

Implemented by the World Bank and the Ministry of Health, the programme aims to provide essential healthcare services to high-risk populations, including pregnant women and young children, for free. The goal is to improve the health of some of the most vulnerable members of communities by strengthening health services and scaling-up the delivery of key nutrition interventions.

Programme interventions

Core nutrition interventions

Delivering a range of important nutrition interventions, including supplementation of iron and folic acid and vitamin A, provision of small quantity lipid-based nutrition supplements, conducting antenatal care visits, promoting breastfeeding for new mothers, and providing support to ensure successful breastfeeding practices.

Technical support

Providing technical assistance and building capacity to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition services.

System strengthening

Strengthening public health surveillance and information systems.

Supporting government

Improving the Government’s emergency preparedness and response.

Improving nutrition services

Strengthening facility-based and community-based reproductive, health, and nutrition services.


Progress to date


women and children reached


women given supplementation


children treated

Members of the Cooperative Agriculture Maraicher for Boulbi, nurture their fields of vegetables, as they water and hoe the fields on November 8, 2013 in Kieryaghin village, Burkina Faso. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank
Group of people watering a field

The programme has made significant progress towards achieving its goals. For example, World Bank payments to the Ministry of Health have started to improve the quality of services. The creation of a national multi-hazard emergency preparedness and response plan has been achieved. In terms of the implementation of nutrition interventions, this is on track: a total of 11.7 million women and children have been reached with nutrition services.

Next steps

Burkina Faso’s security situation remains unstable and the programme continues to adapt to the situation. Together with World Bank partners on the ground, we are preparing to conclude the programme in a manner that allows communities to continue to access nutrition interventions sustainably.