Authors: S. Pierre Yaméogo, Orokia Sory, Yamba Kafando, Charlemagne Tapsoba, Issa Kaboré, Joël Arthur Kiendrébéogo
Burkina Faso’s efforts to respond to COVID-19 have benefited from considerable national and international solidarity, which has been demonstrated through donations, support and multifaceted assistance. To ensure regular monitoring, transparent and equitable management of the resources received, the Ministry of Health has put in place a system of proactively mapping these resources. This blog post shares Burkina Faso’s experience in this regard.
The first case of COVID-19 was officially registered in Burkina Faso on 9 March 2020 and the first COVID-19-related death on the night of 17th to 18 March 2020, making Burkina Faso the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to register a case of COVID-19-related death. As a result of this, the Head of State delivered a speech on 20 March during which restrictive measures were taken, alongside messages to the public to adopt preventive measures and hand hygiene (washing, use of hydro-alcoholic gel). In terms of individual freedom, these included a ban on gatherings of over 50 people; the total closure of cinemas, games and entertainment venues and markets; the partial closure of restaurants and bars, the latter being allowed to sell only take-away food or drinks; and introducing a curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. throughout the country. Local transport also came to a halt, and air borders were closed as part of the measures undertaken to manage the pandemic. On the political front, the biometric registration and issuance of national identity cards for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for November 2020 were suspended. Other restrictive measures were taken, such as the closure of schools and universities and placing in quarantine towns that had registered at least one case of COVID-19. In his second speech to the nation on 2 April 2020, the President, faced with the consequences of the restrictive measures on living conditions of households, announced several supportive measures concerning all sectors of economic life. These included tax relief, total or partial subsidies, and easier access to bank loans.
In this context, the Ministry of Health developed a response plan worth approximately 178 billion CFA francs. The cost of all supportive measures, including the overall health response plan, was estimated at 394 billion CFA francs, or 4.45% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Because of the economic consequences of the pandemic, it was expected that the growth rate will drop from 6.3% to 2% in 2020 and that government revenue will fall by an estimated 306 billion CFA francs. This represented a budget deficit of 5%.
An appeal for national and international solidarity
Due to this challenging economic situation, the Government of Burkina Faso launched an appeal for national and international solidarity, particularly in support of the health sector