In Cameroon, urgent support is needed to save lives, ensure protection and access to quality learning opportunities and alleviate the suffering of displaced, refugee, returnee and host community children, including those vulnerable to measles and cholera outbreaks and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
UNICEF will support its partners through capacity building, training and enhanced monitoring; invest in data improvements for better evidence, targeting and advocacy; and undertake complementary, multi-sector responses in hard-to-reach areas, especially the North-West and South-West regions.
Given the attacks on civilians in the Far North, UNICEF will scale up its operations to improve delivery, monitoring and reporting. Child protection and education activities in the Far North, North-West and South-West will strengthen the protective environment.
UNICEF requires US$83.1 million to provide life-saving measles vaccination, safe water, sanitation, protection and education interventions for children affected by multiple crises.
Implementing partners will deliver these services with UNICEF support, including for coordination and monitoring.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
Intensifying attacks on civilians in the Far North, the continuing North-West/South-West crisis and the uncertainty complicating refugee returns to the Central African Republic have worsened the humanitarian situation in Cameroon. There are over 1 million internally displaced persons, 360,000 returnees and 418,000 refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria, mostly in the Far North, North-West, South-West and East regions.5 Children and women are facing shocking human rights violations,6 including sexual and gender-based violence.
Over 3 million children are affected by multiple protracted crises in areas where the nutrition situation is fragile; and more than 500,000 of these children need nutrition interventions.7 Only 20 per cent of children in the North-West, South-West and Far North are fully vaccinated against measles.8 In the North-West and South-West, 19 per cent of health facilities are not functioning due to insecurity. The number of assisted deliveries has fallen significantly, and undernourished children urgently require nutritional supplementation.10 In the Far North, isolated communities are exposed to daily killings, abductions and looting by armed groups and 150,000 children are displaced, increasing the risk of abduction and recruitment.11
In 2020, increased attacks on internally displaced camps were observed, and 50,000 people fled their villages in seek of greater protection.12 Attacks on civilians, including aid workers, have also increased.13 In the North-West and South-West regions, the protection of civilians, particularly children and women, is a major concern. Children, particularly boys, are being killed and abducted, and both boys and girls are experiencing family separation, gender-based violence and lack of civil documentation. Displacement is ongoing in forest areas and urban centres and to neighbouring regions (Littoral and West).14 Education is increasingly politicized, and even non-formal education has been blocked. Insecurity is threatening communities, children and humanitarian workers and aid delivery has been delayed due to restrictions on movement.
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated humanitarian needs and complicated the response given the overburdened health services, schools and water systems. Some 49 health districts, particularly those affected by conflict, are at risk of measles15 and nearly 1,300 cholera cases have been reported as of August 2020.16 The needs of 280,000 Central African refugees add to this strain,17 and insecurity has forced over 2,700 persons into eastern Cameroon.
Insufficient consideration of gender and accountability is hindering transformative programming.18 Cash-based approaches remain peripheral. And while 25,000 people are annually displaced by natural disasters, local early warning/early action capacities are almost non-existent.19