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Cameroon is facing a silent emergency. In the North and the East of the country, some 283,000 people, including refugees from Central African Republic and Chad, are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Host populations, with limited access to basic services, are also vulnerable as resources are stretched far beyond local capacity. Humanitarian needs are not being adequately met for children. 45,000 children die every year due to malnutrition in the country. Many partners cannot sustain their emergency response capacities in 2009 due to the lack of funding support. UNICEF and its partners are responding to the humanitarian needs of the population in the priority areas of health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS. Emergency preparedness, planning and pre-positioning of strategic supplies to enhance response have been integrated in sector response plans. So far, UNICEF Cameroon has not received any funding against the updated 2009 appeal for US$2,480,000.
Cameroun action Humanitaire mise à jour 27 mars 2009
[PDF en anglais]
For the last three years, a silent emergency has been creeping up on infants and children in eastern and northern Cameroon. It is an emergency that threatens the survival and development of more than 173,500 children under five and tens of thousands more youth and women. A major contributing factor to this situation has been the influx of more than 48,500 refugees from the Central African Republic, located east of Cameroon. In 2005, political and civil instability in the Central African Republic (CAR) drove hundreds of thousands out of the country in search of safety from persecution and violence. By 2006, over 20,000 refugees were registered in Adamawa and East Provinces of Cameroon, and in the following year, another 25,500 arrived. An unknown number of CAR refugees are also located in the southeast area of the North Province as well. To date, the estimated number of refugees from CAR, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is some 48,500 – including 3,000 arrivals in the first months of 2008. Infants and children make up more than half of the refugee population – more than 26,600 are children under 18 years of age. Across all ages, girls and women account for more than 50 per cent of refugees. The refugee population has crossed into Cameroon quietly and scattered in some 62 sites throughout a vast area measuring 30,000 kilometres. As a result of the refugee influx, resources and communities in Adamawa, East Province and North Provinces are now stretched far beyond capacity. Growing competition for food and water between host families and refugees threatens thousands of young lives and those of their caretakers, especially mothers. Health care facilities and service providers, as well as schools and teachers are also overwhelmed and concern is mounting among humanitarian actors and community leaders that conflict between the two populations may occur as another 12,000 refugees are expected to arrive in the coming months. Without immediate action and support, this situation may result in a major humanitarian crisis. UNICEF is therefore seeking to scale-up programmatic activities from now until December 2008 in the three most affected provinces – Adamawa, East and North.
Cameroon Humanitarian Action Update 04 Jun 2008 [pdf]
An estimated 50,000 Chadians have fled recent fighting in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, to Cameroon. Although several hundred of them have returned to Chad in the course of the last two days, the majority of the refugees remain and are living in extremely difficult circumstances. UNICEF is requesting funding to cover key interventions in the area of water , sanitiation and hygiene, nutrition, immunisation, maternal and neo-natal care and recreation and learning activities.
Cameroon Immediate Needs Document 12 Feb 2008 [pdf]