For the final year of the implementation of the 2018-2022 Country Strategic Plan, WFP continued to respond to needs that resulted due to three complex crises in Cameroon – the socio-political crisis in the North West and South West regions; the spillover effects of the conflict in the Central African Republic, and the non-state armed groups’ insurgency on both sides of the Cameroon-Nigeria border. Inter-ethnic clashes in the Far North region between Mousgoum fishermen and Choua-Arab herdsmen in the last quarter of 2021 also aggravated food security challenges. The number of Central African refugees residing in the East, Adamawa and North regions increased by 5 percent, from 316,017 in December 2020 to 332,000 by the end of 2021.
The crisis in the North-West and South-West resulted in the displacement of over 711,000 people as of September 2021. Security and access related issues affected WFP’s operations to reach the most vulnerable. While COVID-19 continued to slow down activities, mitigating measures were put in place to protect both staff and beneficiaries, thus limiting the spread of the virus.
As the pace of global operations picked up steam following the easing of lockdown restrictions, WFP also stepped-up activities towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger. WFP reached over 827,000 crisis-affected and vulnerable people in Cameroon – 54 percent of which were women – through food and nutrition assistance, early recovery and resilience building.
WFP distributed 39,000 metric tons (mt) of food and disbursed more than USD 10 million through cash-based transfers to address the acute needs of vulnerable households. Assistance for the prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition was provided to more than 98,000 children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and lactating women and girls, including people receiving antiretroviral therapy. WFP’s strategy aimed at fostering self-reliance and resilience for sustainable solutions to preserve livelihoods benefitted over 50,000 people in vulnerable households.
As the largest distributor of cash assistance in Cameroon, accounting for more than 60 percent of cash transfers, WFP chairs the cash-working group. The working group gathers 23 organisations including seven UN agencies, twelve international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), two national NGOs, two development agencies and IFRC/ Cameroon Red Cross Society. WFP scaled up unrestricted cash transfers to all crisis areas in the country, reaching beneficiaries in five regions (Far North, Adamawa, East, North West and South West).
WFP complements Government’s efforts in the education sector by implementing the school meals programme, enabling children, especially girls, in crisis-affected regions to access nutritious meals. Through this programme, WFP provides incentives for children to enroll and stay in school while minimizing the risk of being recruited by the non-state armed groups operating in the Far North, North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
A pre-Food Systems summit organized in June presented an opportunity to advance the dialogue on the processes through which food is produced and consumed while also engaging with the Government’s Home Grown School Feeding, which was piloted in the Adamawa region towards the end of 2021.
WFP carried out joint field missions with donors and partners which provided opportunities for shared appreciation of the humanitarian situation in the country and allowed donors to assess ongoing interventions and the impact of their contributions on beneficiaries. Missions with various government ministries also proved useful in enhancing the Government’s knowledge of WFP operations. These missions took place within the framework of the newly created WFP-Government working group aimed at improving coordination and communication with the government around WFP’s activities.
WFP favoured extensive partnerships and joint interventions to enhance the effectiveness of its humanitarian response, developing a collaborative approach at the national and local levels. As an example, the Mandjou joint-resilience intervention in the East region demonstrates how collaboration with and between UN agencies and government could help deliver on the goal of Zero Hunger. WFP also continued to be a partner of choice improving access to the most vulnerable in remote areas through the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). This year, UNHAS served 46 agencies, transported almost 5,000 passengers and 15 metric tons of cargo.
Source: World Food Programme