UN: Cameroon suffering a ‘forgotten crisis’

08 February 2019

Hundreds of thousands are in need of urgent assistance and protection

PA

The abandoned village of Elona, near Buea, in southwest Cameroon, in October

The abandoned village of Elona, near Buea, in southwest Cameroon, in October

CAMEROON is suffering a “forgotten crisis”: hundreds of thousands are in need of urgent assistance and protection, the United Nations has said.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Cameroon, Allegra Baiocchi, said last month: “Hundreds of thousands of people on Cameroon’s territory need urgent assistance and protection.

“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.”

The UN estimated that 4.3 million people in Cameroon — one in six people in the country, and mostly women and children — required lifesaving assistance.

Violence in the west of Cameroon between the military and Anglophone separatists is thought to be the main reason for the crisis, and has caused a huge increase in refugees from the country (News, 16 November 2018).

Four million people are thought to be affected by the conflict.

Speaking at the launch of the UN 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for the country, Ms Baiocchi said: “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.”

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