By Eric Tataw
The United Nations has released an official statement detailing the Humanitarian situation in the two restive Anglophone English-speaking Regions of the North West and South West of Cameroon hit by
Around 4.3 million Cameroonians, mostly women,
Allegra Baiocchi, together with Cameroon’s Civil Protection Director, Yap Mariatou, warned while speaking in Geneva, that the drastic increase in humanitarian need across the country. Cameroon today can no longer be a forgotten crisis; it needs to be high on our agenda, Baiocchi echoed.
Baiocchi continued that hundreds of thousands of people on Cameroon’s territory need urgent assistance and protection, stating attacks against civilians have increased and many conflict-affected people are surviving in harsh conditions without humanitarian assistance due to the dramatic underfunding of the response. Cameroon today can no longer be a forgotten crisis; it needs to be high on our agenda,” she sounded.
With needs rising by 31per cent in a year, the UN today estimates that around 4.3 million people in Cameroon – one in six people and mostly women and children – require lifesaving assistance. The joint Humanitarian Response Plan 2019 seeks $299 million to assist 2.3 million vulnerable people, more than half of those in need, National Telegraph gathered from UN official news website.
Last year, a $320 million response plan for Cameroon was only 40% funded. The aggravation of the conflict in western regions is the main driver behind the increase, with armed attacks in the far north, and new refugees coming from the Central African Republic also increasing demand for urgent aid, the statement reads on.
Baiocchi also noted that insecurity and violence in these regions have uprooted 437,000 people from their homes and forced over 32,000 to seek refuge in
She continued, citing the deteriorating situation in Northeast Nigeria where more than 10,000 new refugees arrived in Cameroon in 2018, bringing the number of Nigerian refugees to 100,000.
On her part, Yap Mariatou said the Government of Cameroon is responsible for the protection and wellbeing of its people, adding it has been at the forefront of the response with its national and international partners. We acknowledge the scale of the different crises we face, and we encourage all the actors to work in close partnership to address the needs of Cameroonians and of the people we host, Yap Mariatou said.
While stating that budgets had failed to increase adequately in recent years, Baiocchi concluded that Humanitarian needs are likely to increase in coming years, “Underfunding means we cannot do all we can to make a difference in the life of most vulnerable people across Cameroon, whether it is the girl who is missing school due to violence, the displaced mother struggling to feed her children, or the father who has lost his entire family, she conclude.