Burkina Faso: Providing cash transfers for vulnerable people living with HIV and key populations

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in western and central Africa, and with support from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, UNAIDS and World Food Programme (WFP) launched a rapid response initiative in July 2020 targeting 5 000 people living with HIV and key population households with one-off, unconditional, direct cash transfers across four priority countries in the region: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Niger. The pilot builds on the global recognition of cash transfers as a critical social protection tool, especially in the context of humanitarian crises (7, 8). The initiative sought to demonstrate how such transfers can be effectively implemented to mitigate the socio-economic and psychosocial impact of HIV and COVID-19 among especially marginalized and stigmatized populations. It also responded to information and concerns shared by networks and associations of people living with HIV and key populations about the consequences they were experiencing in relation to socioeconomic welfare and access to services.