Cameroon

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Country Facts

DRC present since:

2017

Staff on location:

104

Displaced population:

1,927,665

What we do

Displacement Situation

Cameroon sits at the nexus of three parallel regional and domestic crises that have triggered a marked deterioration in socio-economic and security conditions throughout the country. Refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities are experiencing increasing food insecurity, exposure to protection risks, and general strain on resources and infrastructure. 

In the Far North, the desertification of Lake Chad and the Boko Haram crisis, which originates from neighboring Nigeria, have devastated local communities sparking displacement and conflict. 385,000 people are internally displaced in Cameroon’s far north, in addition to the region hosting 115,000 Nigerian refugees

To the East, refugees have been fleeing the chronically unstable Central African Republic for years. In particularly significant influx occured after the outbreak of civil unrest in 2013 and again as a result of the increased insecurity and conflict linked to the Central African Republic's 2020 elections. Today Cameroon hosts around 343,000 Central African refugees. 

And finally in the North-West and South-West anglophone regions, longstanding complaints of political and cultural marginalization developed into an armed separatist insurgency in 2017. Nearly 575,000 Cameroonians are now internally displaced and increasingly vulnerable as a result of this growing conflict, of which a majority still lacks essential humanitarian assistance. 72,900 have fled into neighboring Nigeria.

DRC Response 

DRC has been present in Cameroon since 2017, implementing humanitarian response programming with Central African refugees and Cameroonian host communities in the Adamawa and East Regions and with internally displaced Cameroonians and host families in the Southwest Region. DRC’s interventions focus on provision of  emergency food, shelter and essential non-food items; protection services (including psychosocial support and rights counselling); community development; and income generation activities. 

In the Adamawa and East regions, DRC supports the strengthening of community protection committees and local institutions capacities to: identifying persons at risk and survivors of human rights violations; and in managing conflict and decreasing sources of tensions. DRC works with the local structures to provide assistance to persons in need. The assistance includes psychosocial support and material assistance to cover basic needs. In addition, DRC uses a Graduation Approach to build resilience and lift the most vulnerable households out of poverty. The Graduation Approach uses a combination of unconditional cash support for acute basic needs; technical and vocational training; access to financing and materials to start income generating activities; and continuous coaching.

In the Southwest Region, DRC operates in an active conflict zone and focuses on providing protection services, including child protection, and emergency food, shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) to hard-to-reach communities. The protection programming delivers psychosocial support to children and their parents; individual protection assistance and case management; protection monitoring; and community-based protection response to crisis affected communities. Emergency food, shelter and NFI programming further aims to provide humanitarian assistance to crisis affected households who have been forced to flee violence and insecurity, and are unable to cover their basic needs. 

Contact

Yann Faivre

Executive Director West & North Africa and Latin America

[email protected]

Romain Sztark

Country Director

[email protected]

Downloads

CMR Child Protection Report 2021.PNG

Report on Child Protection Needs in South-West Cameroon

March 2022

487.3 kb

Child protection remains a major concern in the South-West and North-West regions of Cameroon. The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) resulting from the crisis is continually increasing,exposing children to significant risks leading to extended psychosocial distress and mental disorders. Strengthening immediate integrative response to the children, families and population in need,stands as a priority for this conflict-driven emergency. This report is built on data collected during Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) organised by DRC’s child protection team in SW Cameroon in October 2021. The report provides recommendations for Donors, Humanitarian organizations and parties to the conflict.

CMR Photo Protection Monitoring Report (Download 2).PNG

2021 Annual Protection Monitoring Report, Southwest Cameroon

March 2022

881.3 kb

Five years after its onset, the Anglophone crisis in Southwest Cameroon continues to threaten the protection environment of of civilians. Protection interventions including monitoring remains central in the humanitarian response and is a collective responsibility of humanitarians to reduce threats faced by people and to help keep them from more harm. It is important to continue to analyze trends to enable the identification of threats and subsequently to be able to adapt the assistance offered to minimize these threats accordingly. Thus, this report presents the main protection risks identified based on data collected by DRC across 2021: 1) Risk of child abuse, neglect and exploitation; 2) risk of physical, sexual and psychological violence/abuse; and 3) denial of access to civil documentation. The report provides detailed analysis and recommendations for communities, government, humanitarian actors, the protection cluster, and donors.

Snapshots

“When they started shooting and killing people, we ran to the bush"

Beryl, a 25-year-old woman is one of many people who fled the conflict in North-West, South-West Cameroon. She is now displaced and sole caretaker of her two small children, her grandmother, and her aunt who has a mental disability. “When they started shooting and killing people, we ran to the bush and stayed there for three months”. When Beryl had to flee, she lost her source of income and struggled to feed her household. She got seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital but had no means to cover the cost of her lifesaving treatment. DRC with the support of the European Union and USAID/BHA managed to cover the fees for her and provided her with hair dressing materials, which has enabled her to regain a source of income as hairdresser, her profession from before she was displaced. “I thank DRC for coming and helping me and my family”. December 2021.

“When they started shooting and killing people, we ran to the bush"

Beryl, a 25-year-old woman is one of many people who fled the conflict in North-West, South-West Cameroon. She is now displaced and sole caretaker of her two small children, her grandmother, and her aunt who has a mental disability. “When they started shooting and killing people, we ran to the bush and stayed there for three months”. When Beryl had to flee, she lost her source of income and struggled to feed her household. She got seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital but had no means to cover the cost of her lifesaving treatment. DRC with the support of the European Union and USAID/BHA managed to cover the fees for her and provided her with hair dressing materials, which has enabled her to regain a source of income as hairdresser, her profession from before she was displaced. “I thank DRC for coming and helping me and my family”. December 2021.

Snapshot 1
Supporting returnees in the Southwest Cameroon

Jane, a 25-year-old single mother of 2, was displaced multiple times due to conflict in the Southwest. She lost her source of income and got her cooking equipment stolen. With the support of the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Jane was given psychosocial first aid and received an individual protection assistance package. “I was so happy to own household items and not having to beg for a pot from my neighbors whenever I had to cook”. Jane’s one-month old son suffered from severe malaria but had not been treated because of limited resources. “A staff from DRC immediately called for medical intervention. Few minutes after, the Doctors Without Borders ambulance came to my village, took my son and I to the hospital and gave him free malaria diagnoses and complete lifesaving treatment.” March 2021.

Supporting returnees in the Southwest Cameroon

Jane, a 25-year-old single mother of 2, was displaced multiple times due to conflict in the Southwest. She lost her source of income and got her cooking equipment stolen. With the support of the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Jane was given psychosocial first aid and received an individual protection assistance package. “I was so happy to own household items and not having to beg for a pot from my neighbors whenever I had to cook”. Jane’s one-month old son suffered from severe malaria but had not been treated because of limited resources. “A staff from DRC immediately called for medical intervention. Few minutes after, the Doctors Without Borders ambulance came to my village, took my son and I to the hospital and gave him free malaria diagnoses and complete lifesaving treatment.” March 2021.

CMR Snapshot 2 Supporting Returnees
Strengthening family ties through positive parenting.

Erica is a 54-year-old Cameroonian from a conflict-affected neighborhood in the Southwest region. She experienced repeated human rights violations over the years and lost her husband in the crisis. As single parent of 5, Erica encountered difficulties in raising her children in the context of the crisis. She participated in an awareness session on protection, human rights, and Gender Based Violence conducted by DRC with the support of USAID/BHA. “I did not know that children also had rights and that, as parents, we can be friendly and close to our children and respect their rights too”. “It has strengthened our family ties and made me understand our rights”. October 2021.

Strengthening family ties through positive parenting.

Erica is a 54-year-old Cameroonian from a conflict-affected neighborhood in the Southwest region. She experienced repeated human rights violations over the years and lost her husband in the crisis. As single parent of 5, Erica encountered difficulties in raising her children in the context of the crisis. She participated in an awareness session on protection, human rights, and Gender Based Violence conducted by DRC with the support of USAID/BHA. “I did not know that children also had rights and that, as parents, we can be friendly and close to our children and respect their rights too”. “It has strengthened our family ties and made me understand our rights”. October 2021.

CMR Snapshot 4 Strengthening Family
“The community is now able to express and report complaints related to early marriage and domestic violence”

The locality of Bafouck in Adamawa, Eastern Cameroon, was affected by several protection problems such as domestic violence and the lack of systematic declaration of births. A Community-Based Protection Committee was established with the support of DRC, the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in July 2019. It gradually became a recognized community space to search for solutions to improve protection of community members. “Thanks to our advocacy activities with the Mayor, 25 children have now benefited from birth certificates. These actions have allowed our committee to gain the confidence of the community, which is now able to express itself more easily and to report complaints related to early marriage and domestic violence”. - December 2020.

“The community is now able to express and report complaints related to early marriage and domestic violence”

The locality of Bafouck in Adamawa, Eastern Cameroon, was affected by several protection problems such as domestic violence and the lack of systematic declaration of births. A Community-Based Protection Committee was established with the support of DRC, the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in July 2019. It gradually became a recognized community space to search for solutions to improve protection of community members. “Thanks to our advocacy activities with the Mayor, 25 children have now benefited from birth certificates. These actions have allowed our committee to gain the confidence of the community, which is now able to express itself more easily and to report complaints related to early marriage and domestic violence”. - December 2020.

Snapshot 5