by the Humanitarian Coordinator
In 2021, the humanitarian community continued to support those in need, placing protection at the centre of its response. Learning from and building on past efforts, humanitarian actors will continue to respond and adapt their response to the various shocks impacting populations in Cameroon, such as violence against civilians, natural disasters, and epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, 3.9 million women, men, girls, and boys will need humanitarian assistance in Cameroon. The humanitarian response will target 2.6 million people living in crisis areas with multisectoral humanitarian assistance. The aim is to reduce their mortality, morbidity, protection needs, and vulnerabilities while improving their resilience. The response will particularly consider internally displaced persons, returnees, refugees, and host communities.
People living in crisis-affected regions faced numerous humanitarian challenges. In the Far North region, continued attacks by non-State armed groups and the escalation of intercommunal clashes in Logone Birni led to further displacement. Violence is compounded by chronic climate challenges, such as the 2021 drought, affects households’ livelihoods. In the North-West and South-West regions, civilians and basic services, education, and healthcare are repeatedly targeted. These attacks constitute grave human rights violations and abuses. In the eastern regions, the number of refugees from the Central African Republic is rising, increasing pressure on already limited resources and services. To respond to the most acute needs of affected populations, the humanitarian community will be guided by the following strategic priorities. First, we will continue to support the Government of Cameroon in assuming its primary responsibility and ensuring all affected people are protected and reached with assistance.
Moreover, the humanitarian community will continue to reinforce its response’s quality, timeliness, and efficiency in an operational context that remains complex and challenging.
We will also continue exploiting and maximizing synergies with development and peacebuilding actors to respond to the populations’ vulnerabilities, address the underlying root causes and decrease humanitarian needs.
Finally, our planned response will pursue efforts to ensure accountability to affected people by taking account of, giving account to, and being held to account by the people we seek to assist. However, to succeed, the humanitarian community needs a conducive environment for humanitarian actors to safely carry out principled and effective humanitarian actions and to reach and assist all those in need. Therefore, I call on all armed actors to ensure the protection of aid workers, to fully uphold international human rights and humanitarian law, and to respect the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, independence, and impartiality.
We also need resources. To assist the most vulnerable populations and provide a lifeline to millions, we will need US$ 376 million. Therefore, I am thankful to our donors for their generous support in mitigating the impact of the various crises in Cameroon. Their renewed commitment in 2022 is required more than ever.
I am grateful for the commitment of the Government and all humanitarian partners. Let’s continue to respond and coordinate together, advocate together, and move forward together for the benefit of the people we serve.
Matthias Z. NAAB