UN official says Cameroon needs to be high on their agenda

NEWS 28 Jan 2019
UN official says Cameroon needs to be high on their agenda

By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to Cameroon, Ms. Allegra Baiocchi has said the humanitarian situation across Cameroon due to the crisis rocking the North West and South West Regions is dire.
She was speaking in Geneva on Thursday, January 24 while presenting Cameroon’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, UN News has reported.
Ms. Allegra Baiocchi and Cameroon’s Civil Protection Director, Ms. Yap Mariatou, warned that there is a drastic increase in humanitarian need across the country due to the security crisis rocking its two English speaking regions.
While presenting its 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for the West African country, in coordination with the Government and aid partners, she said; “Cameroon today can no longer be a forgotten crisis; it needs to be high on the United Nations agenda”.
“Hundreds of thousands of people on Cameroon’s territory need urgent assistance and protection,” Ms. Baiocchi said, adding that “attacks against civilians have increased and many conflict-affected people are surviving in harsh conditions without humanitarian assistance due to the dramatic under-funding of the response.
With needs rising by 31 per cent in a year, the UN today estimates that around 4.3 million people in Cameroon – one in six people and mostly women and children – require lifesaving assistance.
The joint Humanitarian Response Plan 2019 seeks 299 million US dollars to assist 2.3 million vulnerable people, more than half of those in need. Last year, a 320 million US dollar response plan for Cameroon was only 40 per cent funded.
The aggravation of the conflict in western regions is the main driver behind the increase, with armed attacks in the far north, and new refugees coming from the Central African Republic also increasing demand for urgent aid, UN News wrote.

  UN official says Cameroon needs to be high on their agenda
Insecurity and violence in these regions have uprooted 437,000 people from their homes and forced over 32,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring Nigeria. Four million people are affected by the conflict in Cameroon’s west, says the UN.
In addition, due to the deteriorating situation in northeast Nigeria, more than 10,000 new refugees arrived in Cameroon in 2018, bringing the number of Nigerian refugees to 100,000.
“The Government of Cameroon is responsible for the protection and wellbeing of its people and has been at the forefront of the response with its national and international partners,” added Ms. Yap Mariatou. “We acknowledge the scale of the different crises we face, and we encourage all the actors to work in close partnership to address the needs of Cameroonians and of the people we host.”
“Humanitarian needs are likely to increase in coming years,” said Ms. Baiocchi, adding that budgets had failed in increase adequately in recent years.
“Underfunding means we cannot do all we can to make a difference in the life of most vulnerable people across Cameroon, whether it is the girl who is missing school due to violence, the displaced mother struggling to feed her children, or the father who has lost his entire family.”

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