Addressing Interconnected Challenges in Burkina Faso through Coordinated Reforms to Protect People, Reduce Deforestation and Strengthen Public Finances – Burkina Faso


With support from the International Development Association (IDA) Development Policy Financing (DPF) program, the government of Burkina Faso implemented policy reforms between 2019 and 2021 to improve agricultural productivity and expand agricultural protection. social. The reforms have strengthened the resilience of farmers, herders, women, as well as all those who are disproportionately affected by shocks related to conflict-related developments, health and climate change. Reforms to reduce deforestation aimed to reduce desertification and promote biodiversity. In addition, the government has improved its domestic revenue mobilization and strengthened public sector accountability. These reforms had the general objective of benefiting the population as a whole, as additional resources became available for social programs.


Burkina Faso faces a series of interconnected development challenges. In 2020, more than 50% of the population suffered from chronic food deficiencies, exacerbated by climate change, desertification and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, highly contagious animal diseases threatened livestock health, negatively affecting herders’ incomes and exacerbating their vulnerability to other shocks. Social assistance spending was also fragmented and inefficient. Fiscal sustainability remained under continued pressure.


To address this set of interrelated issues, the IDA DPF program in Burkina Faso has supported strengthening budget management, sustainable growth, and improved service delivery. In the wake of the country’s deteriorating security environment, policy reforms have focused on strengthening the state’s resilience to crises, while improving fiscal transparency and accountability. Both the DPF series and a complementary COVID-19 crisis response operation aligned with the country’s development objectives. Strong analytical foundations have helped inform the government’s reform priorities, support the implementation of key reforms, and foster sound macroeconomic and fiscal policies.

Key reforms supported by the DPF program included: (i) reforms in agricultural input distribution and animal vaccination; (ii) environmental protection reforms; (iii) tax administration and payroll reforms; (iv) government and debt management reforms; and (v) creation of an adaptive and pro-poor national safety net system. The operation has also used the convening power of the World Bank to generate inter-ministerial momentum for complex, multi-sector reforms (for example, to institutionalize a pro-poor and adaptive national safety net system in 2021, which required the collaboration of six ministries).

The inputs we have acquired are of very good quality; this will allow us to increase our agricultural productivity. The electronic input distribution system has not excluded women from the beneficiaries either, which is encouraging.

Adjara Soulama, farmer from Lémouroudougou, Cascades region, Burkina Faso

Thanks to the subsidy and the electronic input distribution mechanism, we were able to acquire bags of fertilizer at an affordable price without major difficulty. Thanks to this support, we will be able to improve agricultural productivity in Bazon.

Pascal Zabre, farmer in Banzon, Hautes-Bassins region


This reform program has supported several key reforms by early 2022. These results support five objectives of Burkina Faso’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF).

  • **Under the first objective, DPF improved agricultural productivity **as a result of reforms in input distribution and animal vaccination. Smallholder farmers gained better access to subsidized agricultural inputs. The share of seeds tracked through the electronic distribution system increased from 23% in 2019 to 46% in 2021, and the share of fertilizers from 46% in 2019 to 75% in 2021.

  • Productivity for herders has increased, with greater resilience for livestock. The number of sheep and goats vaccinated against highly contagious diseases has increased from 0.6 million in 2017 to around 5.8 million in 2021.

  • Under the second objective, the sustainability of natural resources has increased following land reforms to combat deforestation. Sixteen forests have been excluded from the mining cadastre to avoid their conversion to another land use, thus reducing deforestation. Five classified forests have been registered in the cadastre to protect them against deforestation, thus avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).

  • Under the third objective, the DPF extended social protection to the most vulnerable. This was achieved through reforms aimed at institutionalizing an adaptive and pro-poor national safety net system. A social register of households and people living in poverty was established in 2021, including data sharing protocols for effective use in social programs. In the future, the register will help make social assistance more effective by identifying and targeting the groups most in need of help.

  • Under the fourth objective, the DPF strengthened domestic resource mobilization and public expenditure management following tax administration and payroll reforms. The implementation of tax administration reforms, including electronic filing and electronic payment of taxes, has resulted in an increase in the number of registered taxpayers from 95,500 in 2017 to 142,000 in 2021.

  • Public wage bill reform, including rationalization of core jobs, mobility of existing staff between professional and administrative units, and transparent recruitment requirements, led to a deceleration in the annual growth rate of the public wage bill from 11.4% in 2017 to 5.8% in 2017. 2021.

  • Under the fifth objective, the DPF strengthened public sector accountability following governance and debt management reforms. The establishment of a governance framework dedicated to crisis funds has reduced the lead time for procurement contracts for medical supplies from 169 days in 2019 to 28 days in 2021. In addition, it reduced the corruption through improved audit requirements and processes.

  • A new regulatory framework put in place with technical assistance from IDA has enabled the publication of quality quarterly public debt bulletins. As a result, Burkina Faso has become a leader among IDA countries in terms of debt transparency. Indeed, it is the only country to achieve complete availability, completeness and timeliness in all nine categories of the World Bank’s Debt Transparency Heatmap.

Contribution of the World Bank Group

Through IDA, the World Bank Group has provided a total of $350 million between 2019 and 2021 to finance political and structural reforms in Burkina Faso. The World Bank also approved $200 million in IDA financing in December 2021 to provide additional support for the implementation of reforms aimed at strengthening fiscal management, improving natural resource management and productivity. livestock, and to improve service delivery and the efficiency of social spending. On Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), which is part of the DPF reform agenda, the government has worked closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has provided technical assistance to support a new law on PPPs, which was subsequently adopted in 2021.

The partners

In collaboration with the United Nations, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU), the World Bank has carried out a prevention and peacebuilding assessment. This assessment identified opportunities to promote peace and maintain social cohesion in Burkina Faso. The design of DPF operations has also been informed by this assessment, as well as regular consultations with other development partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Agence Danish international development agency. In addition, a US$2 million grant provided by Swedish Cooperation laid the foundations for public sector human resource reform under the recently approved DPF.

Look forward

In an increasingly difficult context, the future DPF program will be essential to support a series of transformational reforms related to food security, social safety nets, environmental protection, governance and fiscal management. .


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