(Ecofin Agency) - In early January 2023, the Military Government of Burkina Faso launched the Patriotic Support Fund (PSF) to boost citizen engagement in restoring security nationwide. This initiative has successfully raised just over CFA99 billion, which is around $162.2 million, to aid in the fight against terrorism.
The government, announcing the extension of the PSF for an additional year starting from January 1, 2024, stated that it has used most of the funds to back the Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP), addressing their social expenses, supplying equipment, and covering fuel costs. Indeed, authorities have previously presented the PSF as an effective tool for gathering and centralizing financial contributions to support and assist the actions of the VDP.
Extending this instrument allows Burkina Faso to continue financing its counter-terrorism efforts amid significant financial challenges, further strained by the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis, along with regional and international sanctions. Official data reveals a significant rise in the state budget's allocation to the defense and security sector, jumping from 20.27% in 2022 to 28.42% in 2023, with future projections indicating an increase to 29.49% in 2024. According to the World Bank, the expected decrease in the budget deficit to 6.1% of GDP by 2024, down from 6.7% in 2023, results from reallocating resources from security-related expenses to other vital areas while maintaining the battle against jihadist threats.
The renewal of the PSF for another year aligns with stepped-up military operations aimed at fully reclaiming Burkinabe territory. The transition President, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, in October 2023, highlighted the crucial role of security, deeming it essential for the conduct of the highly anticipated national elections.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that after a decline to 1.5% in 2022 from 6.9% in 2021, Burkina Faso's real GDP growth rebounded to 4.4% in 2023, with expectations for a rise to 6.4% in 2024. These economic indicators demonstrate Burkina Faso's resilience and unwavering determination to overcome complex challenges, while continually prioritizing security to ensure the country's stability and development.