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Cameroon map
UNICEF photo: A group of children © UNICEF Cameroon/2018/Salomon Marie Joseph Beguel Children at a UNICEF-supported child-friendly space at Zamai site for internally displaced persons in the Far North region in January.

Cameroon

In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:
93,500

people provided with sustainable access to safe drinking water

289,789

children reached with psychosocial support through child-friendly/ secure spaces

311,400

children aged 3 to 17 years affected by crisis accessing education

2019 requirements: US$39,330,695

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Snapshot

Total people in need: 4.3 million9
Total children (<18) in need: 2.3 million10

Total people to be reached: 767,35011
Total children to be reached: 586,40012

In 2018, Cameroon continued to experience serious crises, including a cholera outbreak, insecurity in the Far North, the continuous arrival of refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria and ongoing conflict in the Northwest and Southwest. Massive upheaval in the Northwest and Southwest resulted in the displacement of over 437,500 people, including to neighbouring regions and Nigeria.1 Many of those displaced are isolated in hard-to-reach areas and in need of water, sanitation, shelter, health care, education and child protection services. In the Far North, security incidents diminished and humanitarian access increased over the course of the year, enabling more than 92,200 people to return home.2 Still, more than 328,000 Cameroonians and Nigerians remain displaced in the Far North.3 Increased accessibility in the Far North led to the reopening of 24 schools out of the 92 closed;4 however, malnutrition rates in the region remained constant at 9.7 per cent global acute malnutrition and 1.4 per cent severe acute malnutrition (SAM).5 In late 2018, a cholera epidemic emerged in the North region that also affected the Far North, Central and Littoral regions, resulting in 645 cases and 43 deaths as of October 2018.6

Humanitarian strategy

2019 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 60,255 children aged 6 to 59 months with SAM admitted for treatment
  • 275,000 children aged 6 to 23 months provided with micronutrient powder

Health

  • 266,492 children aged 6 months to 15 years vaccinated against measles13

WASH

  • 93,500 people provided with sustainable access to safe drinking water
  • 240,000 people provided with WASH kits
  • 57,500 people accessing adequate basic sanitation

Child protection

  • 289,789 children reached with psychosocial support through child-friendly/ secure spaces
  • 2,129 unaccompanied and separated children identified and/or placed in alternative care arrangements and/or who benefited from individual follow-up

Education

  • 311,400 children aged 3 to 17 years affected by crisis accessing education
  • 217,980 children aged 3 to 17 years affected by crisis receiving learning materials

Communication for development

  • 210,000 people reached through mechanisms to voice their needs/ concerns
  • 385,000 people reached with key life-saving and behaviour change messages

UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy is organized around four pillars designed to strengthen the linkages between humanitarian action and development programming: 1) building a protective environment and supporting community peacebuilding; 2) preventing and responding to violence against and exploitation of children; 3) increasing access to basic services; and 4) strengthening emergency preparedness and response systems. The strategy will be implemented using three operational modalities. First, UNICEF will strengthen government systems in communes and build community capacities. The goal will be to establish linkages between community-based mechanisms and government structures to reinforce local resilience. Second, where community structures are unable to absorb shocks, UNICEF will support community-based associations and sub-regional governments to deliver services and establish coordination mechanisms. This will strengthen social cohesion by ensuring that both affected populations and host communities can access services. Third, UNICEF and partners will provide an integrated, rights-based assistance package to the most conflict-affected populations. In all aspects of its humanitarian response, UNICEF will strengthen accountability to affected populations, including by meeting with communities directly, where possible, and working through third-party monitors to ensure effective programme delivery. UNICEF will also serve as a leader in the effort to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and protect affected populations.

Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had US$6.5 million available against the US$25.5 million appeal (26 per cent funded).7 In both child protection and nutrition, despite significant funding gaps, UNICEF was able to meet its targets.8 In 2018, UNICEF reached more than 119,000 children with psychosocial support and nearly 56,800 children with treatment for SAM. In addition, at least 21,000 school-aged children received education in safe and protective learning environments, 2,200 children were immunized against measles and 43,000 people received water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) kits. UNICEF is implementing an emergency response in the severely underfunded East and Adamawa regions. In the Northwest and Southwest regions, as of October 2018, UNICEF had initiated programmes in health, WASH, child protection and communication for development to provide assistance, primarily to internally displaced persons. The lack of humanitarian funding profoundly impacted the response, however. Faced with limited resources, humanitarian actors prioritized reaching newly displaced people and newly accessible areas. To maximize the limited funding available and strengthen programme quality, UNICEF initiated joint programming to build a protective environment and prevent the exploitation of children, incorporating child protection, education and communication for development activities.

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Funding requirements

Humanitarian Response Plan (2017-2020), UNICEF is requesting US$39.3 million for 2019 and US$40.8 million for 2020 to address critical needs in the Far North, respond to new displacements in regions affected by the crisis in the Central African Republic14 and launch a large-scale emergency response in regions affected by conflict in the Northwest and Southwest. The requirements reflect Online Project System projects and align with Humanitarian Response Plan priorities. The amounts requested include US$2 million each year to support cluster activation in response to the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest.

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1 Estimated figures provided by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), October 2018.
2 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘Cameroon Fact Sheet’, UNHCR, October 2018.
3 ‘Cameroon Fact Sheet’; and International Organization for Migration, ‘Displacement Tracking Matrix: Cameroon Far North Region Round 14: 13-26 June 2018’, IOM, June 2018.
4 Admissions data provided by the Government of Cameroon Ministry of Education Regional Directorate of the Far North, September 2018.
5 United Nations Children’s Fund and Government of Cameroon Ministry of Public Health, Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) survey, 2018.
6 Government of Cameroon Ministry of Public Health, ‘Rapport de Situation No. 31: Gestion de l’épidémie de choléra’, 29 October 2018, www.minsante.gov.cm/site/?q=en/content/rapport-desituation-sur-la-gestion-de-l%C3%A9pid%C3%A9mie-de-chol%C3%A9ra-%C3%A0-la-date-du-29-octobre-2018, accessed 7 December 2018.
7 Available funds include US$4.4 million received against the current appeal and US$2.1 million carried forward from the previous year.
8 In both cases, UNICEF supplemented its humanitarian programming needs with regular/development resources.
9 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Cameroon: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’ (draft), OCHA, 2018. The Humanitarian Needs Overview document was not finalized/published at the time of writing this appeal. The appeal will be updated to be aligned with the published Humanitarian Needs Overview, once finalized.
10 This figure was calculated based on 53 per cent of the population in need being under age 18. ‘Cameroon: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’ (draft).
11 This figure was calculated based on 586,400 children + 180,950 adults, with 47 per cent of the population in need being above age 18, according to ‘Cameroon: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’ (draft).
12 This figure was calculated based on 275,000 children aged 6 to 23 months to receive micronutrient powder + 311,400 children aged 3 to 17 years to be reached with education.
13 Target based on a mass measles vaccination campaign that is planned for 2019.
14 Given the ongoing volatility in the Central African Republic, UNICEF needs to maintain a small-scale response to address the small numbers of Central Africans crossing into the East and Adamawa regions.