© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2322/Bouvet

Martine Daoundala sits outside her home with her daughter in the village of Ziver. Children and women in the eastern and northern regions of Cameroon struggle to share limited access to health and other services with a fluctuating refugee population.

Children and women in crisis

People living in Cameroon’s eastern and northern regions are struggling to share their limited access to basic services – potable water, health care and education – with a continuous and ever-shifting refugee population fleeing the Central African Republic. At the same time, 3,500 refugees who fled from Chad in 2008 remain at the Longi camp in Nord Province. Acute emergencies compound this stress. In 2010, flooding and cholera in the north took their toll, and the already precarious existence of many women and children was made even more so. In Adamaoua and Est Provinces, the acute malnutrition rate is about 8.5 per cent, which is close to emergency threshold levels. Such high levels of undernutrition render the population vulnerable to disease and unprepared for natural disasters, and reflect the long-term nature of the uncertain conditions in these regions.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

In 2011, UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Cameroon, other UN agencies, NGOs and local communities to assist 1 million women and children.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

UNICEF was able to meet immediate humanitarian needs experienced by both refugee and host populations in 2010. More than 17,000 children with severe acute malnutrition from both host and refugee communities in the emergency-affected Provinces (Adamaoua, Est, Extreme Nord and Nord) received life-saving treatment between January and August 2010. Among these children, more than 95 per cent of those who were 6–59 months old received one dose of vitamin A supplementation and 95 per cent of the 12– to 59-month-old children received deworming tablets. Around 1,000 families in villages benefited from construction of new latrines. Thirty-eight schools where refugee children are enrolled received teaching and learning materials for 5,700 children, of whom 2,500 are refugees.

Funding requirements for 2011

To stabilize the welfare of women and children in Cameroon by achieving gains in nutritional status, access to health services and safe water, and education opportunities, UNICEF is requesting US$3.35 million to carry out its planned activities.

More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Cameroon in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011.

UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $3,350,000