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Cameroon map
UNICEF photo: a girl centre image looks toward camera, other girls in foreground and background © UNICEF Cameroon/Simon Minville Young girls eagerly await their school materials as classes begin.


In 2017, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children aged 6 to 59 months affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admitted for treatment


unaccompanied and separated children who are placed in alternative care arrangements and/or who benefited from individual follow-up


children aged 3 to 17 years accessing quality formal or non-formal basic education

2017 Requirements: US$23,703,305

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Total people in need: 2.9 million
Total children (<18) in need: 1.5 million

Total people to be reached in 2017: 800,000
Total children to be reached in 2017: 415,000

The continuous influx of conflict-affected refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria is putting significant strain on Cameroon. The country is now hosting more than 274,000 refugees from the Central African Republic and 74,000 refugees from Nigeria. The Far North Region, the most vulnerable region in Cameroon with the lowest development indicators, has been the most affected by the Boko Haram crisis, with 198,889 internally displaced persons – mostly women and children – having fled their homes to escape the onslaught. These populations – refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities – are residing in isolated areas of Cameroon, where access to education, health care, water and sanitation is lacking. In total, 2.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 2.6 million people are food insecure to the point of crisis or emergency levels. The situation is worse for children, with 272,565 children under 5 facing acute malnutrition. Girls are being forced into early marriage and are often the victims of sexual abuse, while boys are detained on suspicion of being affiliated with Boko Haram. The year 2017 and beyond does not bode well for these populations.

Humanitarian strategy

2017 programme targets


  • 58,000 children aged 6 to 59 months affected by SAM admitted for treatment1


  • 317,419 children and women provided with access to health care services


  • 43,000 people accessing water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 100,000 people with access to appropriate sanitation

Child protection

  • 105,822 children reached with psychosocial support through child-friendly spaces/safe spaces
  • 2,800 unaccompanied and separated children who are placed in alternative care arrangements and/or who benefited from individual follow-up


  • 144,441 children aged 3 to 17 years accessing quality formal or non-formal basic education

Three years into the protracted crisis, UNICEF will use a two-phased approach. This will involve improving the resilience of Cameroonian communities and addressing both the humanitarian and development needs of affected populations. To reach the populations most in need, UNICEF will work with all strata of society and in partnership with communities and local government and reinforce the capacities of national and sub-national partners, from both government and civil society. Through an integrated approach, communities – particularly internally displaced persons and unregistered refugees – will receive a package that addresses their basic needs in nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health. UNICEF will treat 58,000 children for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and counsel 10,000 caregivers on infant and young child feeding. More than 100,000 people will gain access to appropriate sanitation and more than 310,000 will access primary health care services. In view of addressing educational needs for all displaced children, UNICEF will reach more than 140,000 children with access to quality education and help more than 100,000 children cope with trauma and displacement through psychosocial support.

Results from 2016

As of 31 October 2016, UNICEF had received US$10 million against the US$31.4 million appeal (32 per cent funded).2 Nutrition, child protection and WASH were the most funded areas, receiving 40 per cent of their needs. Throughout the year, UNICEF continued to respond to the needs of populations affected by the crises in the Central African Republic and Nigeria. UNICEF also worked with local non-governmental organizations such as Logane and Chari to reach children in isolated areas. By using integrated approaches, UNICEF was able to maximize limited funding to address the needs of the most vulnerable children in the Far North and East regions. Child protection and education efforts worked together to ensure that schools provided psychosocial support and that children attending child-friendly spaces were able to access education. Through targeting, the families of severely malnourished children received kits to improve their hygiene standards. This shift in approach will form an integral part of UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy for 2017.

Funding requirements

UNICEF Cameroon is requesting US$23,703,305 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in 2017. This exceeds UNICEF’s request in the Cameroon Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) by US$2.8 million. Following the HRP submission, UNICEF identified priority needs in health and child protection, particularly for unregistered refugees and host communities. Given population movements and Cameroon’s vulnerability to flooding and epidemics, the appeal also includes additional resources for emergency preparedness and response. As the humanitarian community moves toward longer-term planning for needs in Cameroon, this humanitarian funding will allow UNICEF to build national capacities to respond to humanitarian needs and ensure that supply chains are robust, specifically for nutrition, WASH and education supplies. The funding will also build synergies between the different programme sectors, ensuring that donor value for money is maximized.

1 This is a subset of the total amount of 63,000 children under 5 affected by SAM in Cameroon in 2017.
2 Available funds included funding received against the current appeal of US$6.3 million and US$3.7 million carried forward from the previous year.
3 The child protection and health funding requirements are higher than what was requested in the HRP due to modifications in programme plans.
4 Ibid.