100 episodes

To discover, understand and put Canadian realities into perspective.

RCI | English : Reports Radio Canada International

    • News

To discover, understand and put Canadian realities into perspective.

    Burkina Faso faces ‘astounding’ displacement crisis: report

    Burkina Faso faces ‘astounding’ displacement crisis: report

    Burkina Faso is facing one of the world’s fastest growing displacement crises threatening to engulf the entire West African country and spill over into neighbouring Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire, warns a report by the U.S.-based NGO Refugees International.



    Burkina Faso has emerged as the latest epicentre of a conflict that has already consumed much of neighbouring Mali and Niger in Africa’s troubled Sahel region, said Alexandra Lamarche, a Canadian humanitarian worker who authored the report for Refugees International.



    And the speed at which the situation in Burkina Faso has deteriorated has caught the country’s government, the international community and aid groups off guard, Lamarche told Radio Canada International in a phone interview from Washington, D.C.



    “I was in Burkina in the Fall and they estimated that by the end of the year there’d be about 330,000 internally displaced and instead by Dec. 31 they had reached numbers of 530,000 and now we’re at 613,000,” Lamarche she added.



    (click to listen to the podcast interview with Alexandra Lamarche)



    ListenEN_Report_3-20200211-WRE30



    The numbers are expected to climb even higher, she added.



    “NGOs are estimating that there might be closer to 900,000 by April but I would be shocked if numbers weren’t actually higher than that,” Lamarche said.

    Astounding levels of violence

    Source: “Humanitarian Response Plan 2020: Burkina Faso,” OCHA, (January 2020), https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/sites/www.humanitarianresponse.info/files/documents/files/hrp_2020-bfa-fr_abridged-web.pdf



    The level of violence and the rapid increase in the number of internally displaced people are “astounding,” especially since Burkina Faso was once known for its relative stability and harmony across ethnic, religious, and linguistic lines, she said.



    Intercommunal tensions are on the rise, and the country is grappling with its first major humanitarian crisis in recent history, Lamarche said.



    UN food assistance agency warns of escalating crisis in Burkina Faso

    Canadian gold mine hit by deadly attack in Burkina Faso won’t reopen in 2019



    And increasingly the country’s civilian population is caught in the crossfire as "a motley assortment" of armed groups – jihadist insurgents, criminal elements and local self-defence militias set up to protect rural communities – have plunged the country into violence, Lamarche said.

    Grappling to provide services and security

    A Burkina Faso soldier patrols at a district that welcomes Internally Displaced People (IDP) from northern Burkina Faso, in Dori on Feb. 3, 2020. (Olympia De Maismont/AFP via Getty Images)



    For its part, the government of Burkina Faso is struggling to meet the needs of its population and to provide basic security in large parts of the country, she said.



    Meanwhile, aid groups are scrambling to mount an effective response to the crisis, Lamarche said.



    Aid groups are hampered by a lack of funding and government policies that prevent them from providing humanitarian assistance to some of the most vulnerable populations who live in huge swaths of Burkina Faso controlled by various insurgent groups, Lamarche said.



    The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) currently estimates that $295 million US ($392 million Cdn) will be required in 2020 to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, the report said.



    International donors, including Canada, will need to quickly ramp up funding to “nip this in the bud” and stop the instability in Burkina Faso from spreading to neighbouring countries, Lamarche said.



    “We’re seeing increasing violence by the Togo border, it’s only a matter of time before it goes into Togo,” Lamarche said.

    • 12 min
    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 5: A Marshall Plan for the 21st century

    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 5: A Marshall Plan for the 21st century

    Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch, a new podcast series by Radio Canada International.



    My goal is to bring you insights into Canada’s foreign, defence and development policy.



    I’ll discuss Canada’s global role through interviews with policy makers, former and serving diplomats and soldiers, academics and think tank experts, humanitarian workers, civil society activists and entrepreneurs recorded at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in late November of 2019.



    Robert Greenhill is executive chair of Global Canada (Photo courtesy of Global Canada).



    The event was organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).



    There I met with Robert Greenhill, executive chair of Global Canada and former president of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).



    Greenhill says the minority Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to take a page from its recent defence policy and commit to serious increases in its international development budget.



    "If you don't want a climate crisis become a catastrophe, we have to help developing countries leapfrog how they're doing energy," Greenhill says. "If we don't want to have the Zikas, the SARS, the Ebolas, as just being early examples of terrible pandemics in the future, we need to improve healthcare systems around the world.



    "If we don't want to have Western Europe that is massively destabilized because of millions of irregular immigrants and refugees, we all have a vested interest to help places like the Sahel and others be able to take control of their own destiny in a more successful way."



    This is Episode Five: A Marshall Plan for the 21st century



    ListenEN_Interview_3-20200117-WIE30

    • 13 min
    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 4: The Trump challenge

    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 4: The Trump challenge

    Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch, a new podcast series by Radio Canada International.



    My goal is to bring you insights into Canada’s foreign, defence and development policy.



    I’ll discuss Canada’s global role through interviews with policy makers, former and serving diplomats and soldiers, academics and think tank experts, humanitarian workers, civil society activists and entrepreneurs recorded at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in late November of 2019.



    Former Liberal cabinet minister and Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Allan Rock, says the Trump administration presents Canada's greatest foreign policy challenge. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)



    The event was organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).



    There I met with Allan Rock. He is a former Liberal cabinet minister and also served as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations after leaving federal politics, as well as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa.



    He says the possible re-election of President Donald Trump for another term in 2020 would present the greatest challenge for Canadian foreign policy.



    "The decision that is going to have the biggest impact on Canada's foreign policy is not going to be made by Canadians, it's going to be made by Americans," Rock says. "If he [Trump] continues in power, after the election of November 2020, we're going to have to think very carefully how we're going to survive that.



    "And if he doesn't, we're going to have to think very carefully how we're going to rebuild and restore, and recover from these awful years."



    This is Episode 4: The Trump challenge



    ListenEN_Interview_3-20200116-WIE30

    • 15 min
    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 3: The feminist perspective

    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 3: The feminist perspective

    Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch, a new podcast series by Radio Canada International.



    My goal is to bring you insights into Canada’s foreign, defence and development policy.



    I’ll discuss Canada’s global role through interviews with policy makers, former and serving diplomats and soldiers, academics and think tank experts, humanitarian workers, civil society activists and entrepreneurs.



    Kate Grantham is an international development consultant and vice president of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development. (Photo courtesy of Kate Grantham)



    In June of 2017, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled its feminist foreign and development policy. But what is at the core of that policy? And has Canada put its money where its mouth is when it comes to upholding the principles unveiled in that policy? Does that policy need to change and if yes, how? What should be Canada's international development priorities?



    These are all questions that I’m hoping to ask and try to answer in this podcast series. And my search for the answers began in Ottawa, at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in late November of 2019.



    The event was organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).



    There I met with Kate Grantham. She's an international development consultant and vice president of the CASID.



    This is Episode Three: The feminist perspective on Canada's foreign policy



    ListenEN_Interview_3-20200115-WIE30

    • 20 min
    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 2: The national security view

    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 2: The national security view

    Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch, a new podcast series by Radio Canada International.



    My goal is to bring you insights into Canada’s foreign, defence and development policy.



    I’ll discuss Canada’s global role through interviews with policy makers, former and serving diplomats and soldiers, academics and think tank experts, humanitarian workers, civil society activists and entrepreneurs.



    Richard Fadden, National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, appears at Senate national security and defence committee in Ottawa on Apr. 27, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)



    Canada needs to be “clear eyed” about its own place in the rapidly changing multipolar world and the security challenges presented by such “revisionist” adversaries as Russia and China, says a former spy chief and national security advisor to two prime ministers.



    The world is undergoing fundamental change and Canada cannot rest on its laurels at a time of rising global threats, including the increasingly isolationist United States, dysfunctional Western allies and the emergence of China and Russia, cyber threats and terrorism, says Richard Fadden.



    He is a former national security adviser to both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his predecessor, Stephen Harper.



    I spoke with him at the Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership in Ottawa at the end of November in 2019.



    The event was organized by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).



    This is Episode Two: Foreign policy through the national security lens and does Canada need its own foreign intelligence service?



    ListenEN_Interview_3-20200114-WIE30

    • 19 min
    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 1: Rethinking Canada’s foreign policy

    Diplomatic Dispatch Podcast – Episode 1: Rethinking Canada’s foreign policy

    Welcome to Diplomatic Dispatch, a new podcast series by Radio Canada International.



    My goal is to bring you insights into Canada’s foreign, defence and development policy.



    I’ll discuss Canada’s global role through interviews with policy makers, former and serving diplomats and soldiers, academics and think tank experts, humanitarian workers, civil society activists and entrepreneurs.



    Nicolas Moyer is the president and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. (Nicolas Moyer)



    What is Canada's foreign policy? How should Canada conduct its foreign policy? Who should conduct that policy? Should that policy change? And if yes, how? Who are Canada's allies and who are its foes? And what do we do with them?



    These are all questions that I'm hoping to ask and try to answer in this podcast series. And my search for the answers began in Ottawa, at the Summit on Canada's Global Leadership in late November of 2019.



    The event was organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).



    There I met with one of the principal organizers of the summit, Nicolas Moyer, president and CEO of the CCIC.



    This is Episode One: Rethinking Canada’s foreign policy 



    ListenEN_Report_3-20200113-WRE30

    • 19 min

Top Podcasts In News

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Radio Canada International