Social protection in Burkina Faso is currently characterized by its heterogeneity and low coverage. Social protection measures and programmes in Burkina Faso can be divided into four large components:
- Social security, with benefits guaranteed by:
- The National Social Security Fund (Caisse nationale de sécurité sociale - CNSS) which manages three branches of benefits for workers governed by the Labour Code: retirement, family (family and maternity allowances) and professional risks.
- The Autonomous Pension Fund for Public Servants (Caisse autonome de retraite des fonctionnaires - CARFO), which covers civil service personnel and provides old-age, invalidity, and funeral benefits, and, more recently, compensation for and prevention of professional risks. Public sector workers are also entitled to family allowances.
- Social assistance, which is characterized by:
- A set of safety net programmes financed by public and external funding.
- The diversity of initiatives implemented to promote the accessibility of basic social services and employment for disadvantaged populations and to reduce the effects of shocks.
- The diversity of stakeholders and the scope of programmes, many of which are new. These safety nets exist essentially in the domain of food security, access to education, and health. In a review of safety nets conducted by the World Bank in 2010, certain labour-intensive programmes were also included as an emergency response to temporary situations (climate-related shocks, for instance).
- Several social action services in the fields of aid and socio-professional assistance for children and young men and women, aid and rescue in case of catastrophes and humanitarian crises, and care for people living with HIV.
- Numerous public and private health coverage mechanisms which, for the health budget, function as a social insurance (health micro-insurances and company schemes, among others) and universal coverage. Since 2008, Burkina Faso has undertaken the study of a national health insurance project which should provide a basic guarantee of public health services and essential and generic medication to the whole population, and organize a coherent health coverage structure.