Caveat on displacement figures for the North-West and South-West crisis
The estimated figures of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in the North-West, South-West, Littoral, West and Centre regions mentioned in the HNO and HRP 2021 documents are based on multi-sectoral needs assessments (MSNAs) conducted in August and September 2020 under the leadership of OCHA. The IDP and returnee figures validated by the Cameroonian Ministry of Territorial Administration (MINAT) for these regions are lower: 130,000 IDPs in the North-West region, 90,000 IDPs in the South-West region, 105,000 returnees in the North-West and South-West regions, 12,000 IDPs in the Littoral region, 11,350 IDPs in the Centre region and 20,000 IDPs in the West region. OCHA under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator has agreed with MINAT to review the IDP figures jointly in the course of 2021, based on a joint data collection exercise.
Caveat on HRP budget
The Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2021 estimates that 362 million UDS are required to reach 3 million people in need. The Government estimates that 100 million USD would be needed to respond to those targeted in the affected regions. In 2020, the humanitarian donors funded 50 per cent of the 391 million USD required in the revised 2020 HRP to reach 3.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. These funds were directly used by UN agencies and NGOs in the humanitarian response to people in need. Humanitarian actors support the Government responding to the needs of the most vulnerable.
Foreword by the Humanitarian Coordinator
In 2020, the needs of the Cameroonian population were exacerbated by continuous violence against civilians, natural disasters (floods and landslides) and the COVID-19 pandemic. The chronic vulnerability and structural development deficits deepened, challenging further the long-term recovery of the affected population. This 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) expresses the commitment of the humanitarian community in Cameroon to provide life-saving assistance where required, reduce the vulnerability of the people affected by crises and support communities becoming more resilient to withstand future shocks.
In 2021, humanitarian actors will continue to place centrality of protection and promotion of gender equality at the heart of humanitarian operations while respecting the humanitarian principles. Partners will continue to use a multisectoral approach in their response efforts in order to maximize the impact of humanitarian assistance including the use of multi-purpose cash as an intervention modality. The humanitarian community will promote accountability to affected populations including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Although 4.4 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2021 in Cameroon, assisting people in need remains challenging. The main humanitarian access constraints are limited funding, insecurity, poor infrastructure conditions, natural hazard such as floods and restrictions on the freedom of movement of people, goods and services. Ensuring safe and equitable access to humanitarian assistance requires financial and human resources. In 2020, the humanitarian response in Cameroon continued to be underfunded with only 50 per cent of its Humanitarian Response Plan funded. If the chronic underfunding of the humanitarian response in Cameroon is not addressed, millions of people will continue to be left without vital humanitarian assistance and protection.
Identifying durable solutions for displaced people, including internally displaced people, returnees and refugees remains a top priority for the humanitarian community and can only be achieved in partnership with the Government and development partners. Addressing most of the needs of the population in Cameroon is beyond the scope of what the humanitarian community can do on its own and will therefore require additional resources and strategic partnership with Government supported by donors and development partners. I encourage all partners to scale up support to address the root causes of the humanitarian crises. I am confident that through strengthened partnership and increased resources for resilience building programs, we will see a gradual decrease in the humanitarian needs in Cameroon. At the same time, we should keep working on the reinforcement of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
As Humanitarian Coordinator of Cameroon, I am committed to work together with all relevant stakeholders to the benefit of the affected population, while strengthening partnerships, particularly with the Government and the affected populations and reinforcing coordination.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all humanitarian partners, including United Nations organizations, international and national NGOs, members of the civil society and the Government who despite the numerous challenges continue to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need in Cameroon. I am also grateful for the trust and confidence that donors place in us and their commitment towards alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable populations in Cameroon.
Matthias Z. NAAB