Switzerland focuses on three priority areas to help combat poverty in Burkina Faso: governance and democracy, basic education and vocational skills development (VSD), and local economic development. Switzerland has been providing humanitarian aid to the country's most vulnerable communities since 2019. 

Despite fairly sustained economic growth (6.9% in 2021), driven by gold and cotton exports, Burkina Faso remains one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world. Most of the population live in rural areas, with families relying on subsistence farming, which is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Since 2020, violence linked to extremist groups has increased significantly, which has further weakened the country and undermined trust between citizens and the state. In October 2022, Burkina Faso experienced its second military coup, just nine months after the previous one in January. A 24-month transition period is now under way, which is due to end once elections have been held in mid-2024.  

Against this backdrop of growing insecurity, Switzerland is working to maintain development gains, reduce suffering and facilitate conflict transformation. Activities currently focus on governance and democracy, basic education and vocational skills development, and economic development.