Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – International aid groups are calling on the government of Burkina Faso to help register internally displaced people. The Norwegian Refugee Council says the government is taking weeks to register IDPs for food and other aid, forcing some to return to dangerous areas.
In a statement issued Monday, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said government authorities were taking weeks to register IDPs, such as the 500 or more who recently attended a school in the city of Wahigua.
The NRC says it can complete the registration process, which is essential within a week before distributing aid to the IDP, and urges the government to quote, “Let us come forward and support.”
Rasmata Vedrago, who lived at the school, fled her nude village with her young son after the terrorist attack.
He said they wore army uniforms, so it was difficult to know if they were terrorists. He had to hide in his house for two days.
He says he came to Wahigua about two months ago and so far his family has received a hundred dollars in assistance.
“The first thing we need is food for us and our kids and then some clothes,” he told VOA.
The IDPs community leader says students will return to their studies this month, so the school owner has asked IDPs to move out. Local authorities sent them to a site outside the city where food and services are difficult to find.
“At the very beginning, we were able to buy some food grains and 100 100 for each family, like corn and the market, but that was two to three months ago,” he said. He added that some people came very recently, and those people have not received any food so far.
Many IDPs at the school say they are unsure whether they are registered, but none of them are receiving adequate support. Tom Pierre-Costa from the Norwegian Refugee Council.
“The authorities do not really have the power to count and register newly displaced people and in the meantime aid agencies are not allowed to intervene. So, that’s what we’re looking for today. We need more flexibility, ”he said.
At an exciting press conference on Monday, Humanitarian Affairs Minister Lawrence Marchal Ilboudo said this when asked why aid groups’ aid offers were being rejected.
“You asked why we don’t make it easier for partners if they can do better than the locals,” he said. “But why are they? Because they have resources? Because they have machines? Our nation has the skills to do it. Why don’t we use this material skill so that the locals can do it themselves?”
Since the school is now empty, waiting for the students to return, the IDPs living there need help.