Burkina Faso. In April, Parliament passed several new
electoral laws, including one that at least 30 percent of
the political parties' candidates must be women. The new
laws also gave Burkinis foreign citizens the right to vote
and clarified the rules that an opposition leader should be
elected after elections. In addition, all parties with at
least three percent of the votes in the previous election
must receive state support for their election campaigns.
Following a government decision, the authorities began
issuing a free birth certificate in May. The comprehensive
program, supported by the United Nations Children's Fund
UNICEF, was expected to provide five million burkinis with
the important documents that were too expensive for many in
the past. According to
countryaah, proof of birth is required to, among other things,
be able to go to school, get access to care and to vote.
Children without a birth certificate are at greater risk of
being subjected to trafficking and child marriage. One third
of the country's three million children lacked a birth
certificate when the program started.
Flooding as a result of the strongest rainfall since 1919
resulted in at least five dead and 150,000 homeless people
in early September. The worst hit was the capital
Ouagadougou, where even the largest university hospital was
flooded and forced to evacuate its patients.