Cameroon currently has 1,184,074 people of concern, including 278,884 Central African and 104,248 Nigerian refugees.
On March 26, UNHCR launched an appeal for additional funds for the estimated 437,000 NW/SW IDPs in Cameroon and 35,000 seeking asylum in Nigeria
Cameroon and Nigeria UNHCR Country Representatives visited Far North from 25-28 March for a situation review after departure of 40000 Nigerian asylum seekers
UNHCR now requires US$184 million for its operations in Cameroon and Nigeria – including US$35.4 million needed urgently for critical life-saving assistance. On March 26, an appeal was launched for donors to step up support for the half a million displaced Cameroonians who have survived over a year of ongoing violence in different parts of the country. It is estimated that more than 437,000 people are currently displaced in Cameroon due to the on-going crisis in the North West and South West regions, with an additional 35,000 Cameroonians forced to seek asylum in Nigeria. Having fled with very little or nothing, these persons of concern have sought refuge in impoverished host communities where food supplies are strained and with few facilities for health, education, water and sanitation.
Underfunding and insecurity have continued to restrict protection and assistance activities to support the affected population within Cameroon and those in Nigeria are currently hosted in settlements and more than 47 villages along the border.
Following violence in neighbouring CAR in March, many Central Africans sought refuge in Gbatoua-Godole and its environs (Nondigui and Tapawa) and other localities along the border in the Adamawa and East regions. A joint mission of WFP and UNHCR on 25 and 26 March identified 694 asylum seekers with urgent needs in shelter, NFI, nutrition and healthcare. In addition, on the Meiganga-Garoua-Boulai stretch, a further 85 asylum seekers fleeing from violence in Kounde were identified on March 20.
The security situation in Cameroon’s Far North Region continues to be volatile, particularly in border areas. An increase in incursions has been observed in March with the local population being the main target of attacks from Boko Haram armed groups. These attacks include looting, destruction of dwellings, killings, kidnapping for ransom or for forced recruitment as well as burning of villages and foodstuff. Nonetheless, increased military presence is noted especially in border localities with Nigeria for a defensive front against these attacks.
From 05 to 07 March, the Project Head for « Saving Maternal and New-born Lives in Refugee Settings” of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Chad, Niger and Cameroon, Stephanie Gee, was on a working visit to Cameroon, particularly to the East where the project is being implemented. She visited the Garoua-Boulai district hospital and the Gado Health Centre and exchanged with health personnel and community workers. Working with the implementing partner, AHA the project head oversaw the training of trainers on modules such as managing postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, basic care and reanimation for the new-born using the Low Dose High Frequency approach. Already into its 6th month of implementation, the kangaroo mother care system under the project is saving the lives of many premature and low birth weight babies with the use of kangaroo wraps.
In the North West and South West Regions, the prevailing security situation has been unpredictable, with continuing reports of fighting between government forces and non-state armed groups, as well as shootings, kidnappings and destruction of property. On 26 March, OCHA led a delegation consisting of UN Agencies to Bamenda, in the North West Region to monitor the humanitarian situation in the region.