In 2020, the humanitarian situation in Cameroon continued to deteriorate in response to the three conflicts the country is experiencing: the security and political crisis in the Central African Republic, which is affecting the east of the country; the Lake Chad crisis, which is affecting the Far North; and the independence aspirations of the two English-speaking regions in the west. These conflicts encourage internal displacement and the arrival of refugees, making access to basic services difficult because resources are saturated.
By the end of 2020, there were 270,000 Central African refugees in Cameroon, according to the UNHCR, including 65,000 in Adamaoua and 185,000 in the east.
According to OCHA, more than 10 million people in the Far North were in need of emergency assistance in early 2020, including 2,3 million displaced people. More than 5 million people are struggling for food and half a million children are malnourished.
Description of the mission
Première Urgence Internationale has been operating in Cameroon since 2008 and initially focused on meeting the needs of Central African refugees who arrived in 2006, particularly in the areas of food security and water, hygiene and sanitation. The arrival of new Central African refugees in 2014 led the mission to adapt its response to border transit sites through camp management and shelter activities. In 2015, the mission positioned itself for a new crisis: that of displaced persons caused by clashes between armed groups from Nigeria and the Cameroonian army.
In the Far North, the Maroua and Kousséri bases are answering this crisis through an integrated approach. A Rapid Response to Population Movements (RRM) program is being developed in the area in consortium with Action Against Hunger (ACF) to respond urgently to the needs of the population caused by these sudden and recurring displacements. Première Urgence Internationale is leading the RRM mechanism in the country.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
Première Urgence Internationale is present in the Far North and East of Cameroon to respond to the urgent needs of local, displaced and refugee populations.
In the Far North, the NGO participates in improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable people, refugees and displaced persons, through the Rapid Response to Population Movements (RRPM). This mechanism, for which Première Urgence Internationale is lead in the country, is implemented in consortium with ACF and mobilizes other humanitarian actors in the region. Another project supports vulnerable displaced and host populations in the sectors of food security, economic recovery and livelihoods and RRPM. Première Urgence Internationale also participated in a large-scale food security and economic recovery project until the end of 2020, in consortium with ACF, the French Red Cross, Care and Solidarités International.
In Adamaoua and the East, Première Urgence Internationale has been working for several years in cooperation with Solidarités International to strengthen the resilience of Central African refugee and host populations by promoting food security and land governance mechanisms.
Photos : © Adrienne Surprenant
In Cameroon, “school brigades” formed to promote hygiene in schools
For the past two years, Première Urgence Internationale has been carrying out awareness-raising activities on water, hygiene and sanitation in 11 schools in Cameroon. In 2018 and 2019, 7,740 children and 180 teachers and parents benefited from awareness-raising programmes in newly equipped and sanitised schools.
‘In Cameroon, the teams told me how they cleared paths with machetes’
Fanny Vagné is emergency technical manager in Cameroon. Still new to the humanitarian aid sector, on her return from mission, she talks to us about her career, her experience of compassionate work and her mission in Cameroon.
Interview with Anna Soravito, Cameroon mission leader
Anna Soravito, Première Urgence Internationale’s Cameroon mission leader, will soon be leaving her post. She tells us here about the experience she has had.Anna Soravito, Première Urgence Internationale’s Cameroon mission leader, will soon be leaving her post.