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Close to two million Cameroonian children need humanitarian assistance-UNICEF report

Zara collects water for use at their home in Bakassi IDP camp, in Maiduguri, Nigeria, 13 March 2017 ©UNICEF/UN057061/Abubakar

UNICEF Cameroon humanitarian situation report of November 2017 reveals that about 1,800,000 children are in need of humanitarian assistance, 2,900,000 people are  in need and 241,987 are internally displaced.


Other highlights of the report include:


  • The 11th round of the Displacement Tracking Matrix exercise presented an IDP figure of 241,987 and returnee figure of 63,692, both showing a significant increase compared to the round 10 conducted in August of the same year.
  • A girl child held in custody in Mokolo Prison under the suspicion of association with Boko Haram was released from the detention with the support of UNICEF implementing partner ALDEPA.
  • Response in Waza, Logone and Chari department, where UNICEF assessed the needs on 4 October is ongoing in the areas of Education, Nutrition and WASH, with WASH reaching as many as 30,000 people. Health, although identified as the priority need, has a funding gap of over 20,000 USD.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Impact of the Lake Chad Basin Crisis: Round 11 of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) exercise was conducted by IOM from 2-13 October 2017 in the Far North region. The newly released results presented the IDP figure of 241,987, an increase of 4,020 compared to the round 10 from August 2017, and the returnee figure of 63,692, equally showing an increase of 2,602. The trend remains the same and the biggest concentration of IDPs is found in Logone and Chari department (53% of total). The increase of returnees, however, needs to be carefully analysed to assess the impact of the security situation in the region.

Based on an assessment that took place on 4 October in Waza, Logone and Chari department, a response plan targeting 30,000 people including IDPs, returnees and host community has been developed and the response started in the areas of Education, Nutrition and WASH. WASH has so far reached the maximum number of beneficiaries, with 30,000 people benefiting from the hygiene promotion activities. Despite the fact that it was identified as a priority need, Health has a funding gap of over 20,000 USD.

The authorities decided to relocate the returnees in Mozogo, Mayo Tsanaga department, including 245 children who fled the captivity of Boko Haram to a new IDP site in Zamai in the near future. This site has limited services available at the moment: 2 water points near the site were rehabilitated by the NGO CARE and 25 latrines were built through UNHCR with support of UNICEF. There is a health centre which has received nutritional supplies from UNICEF and one school nearby, which is unable to accommodate all the children.

Similarly, the authorities decided to relocate all the IDPs in Kolofata, Mayo Sava department, to a new IDP site, which has very limited access to services. So far, some 3,000 out of 12,000 IDPs have been relocated to this new site. The biggest gap in services remains water provision. UNICEF, in collaboration with OCHA/UNHCR, is negotiating with the local authorities and the WASH Sectorial Group to contribute to the cost of water supply.

UNICEF will continue to advocate for the re-integration of returnees in Mozogo into their communities of origin after they would have received adequate support, while providing access to basic services if they are relocated to a new IDP site. For IDPs relocated to a site in Kolofata, UNICEF continues to advocate for their freedom of movement, among other concerns, while supporting the government to lead on the provision of basic services.

Impact of the CAR crisis:

In East region, 509 refugees from Central African Republic (CAR) arrived in Cameroon since October in four border areas (Gbiti, Wissambo, Bombe Pana and Boma) and have been pre-registered by UNHCR. Of these, 56% are children (140 boys and 144 girls) and 25% are under the age of 5. A joint UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP needs assessment indicates diarrheal diseases and febrile infections among children, reported cases of acute malnutrition and psychosocial disorders, limited access to drinking water and the presence of 158 children (who are part of 509 pre-registered refugees) who are out of school. During the mission, it was also learned that 145 additional individuals had newly arrived and are awaiting registration in Gbiti and Boma.

In Garoua-Boulaï, East region, discussions between UNICEF and the refugees’ representative and the responsible of the local social centre have confirmed the resurgence of the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Garoua-Boulaï.

UNICEF is working with the Regional Delegation of Social Affairs and the UN WOMEN to address this issue. According to the refugees’ representative, refugees continue to arrive in Garoua Boulai, but continue their journey towards towns/villages, such as Betare Oya and Ndokayo, where they believe to have a higher change of being registered.


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