What are the needs?
The north of Cameroon is comparably poorer and less developed than other parts of the country. Its population consists mostly of subsistence farmers who have suffered from the successive food and nutrition crises in the entire Sahel region over the past decade. Food insecurity is a daily reality for many families and child malnutrition is critically high, especially in remote regions where health facilities are far and few between. More efforts are needed to improve life-saving nutrition care and help populations cope with future crises.
Cameroon hosts approximately 200 000 refugees who have fled the violence in neighbouring Nigeria and Central African Republic (CAR). Having been victims of abuse, looting and intimidation, many CAR refugees were completely destitute upon arrival and rely on aid for their most basic needs.
Floods and outbreaks of polio, measles, cholera and yellow fever are also common, especially in the north of the country. An estimated 6 million people are at risk of epidemics in that area, where access to essential services such as health care, clean water and education is limited.
How are we helping?
The EU has provided humanitarian aid funding in response to the various refugee crises, floods and epidemics which have affected Cameroon over the past decade.
In the north of the country, during the 'lean season' of the difficult months between harvests, the EU is one of the major donors, providing financial support for the implementation of emergency nutrition interventions. A total of €2 million have been committed in 2014 to improve the screening of malnourished children as well as providing mothers with ready-to-use therapeutic foods. The European Commission's humanitarian partners work in collaboration with the Cameroonian Ministry of Health in order to build local capacity within the country's health system and staff.
Given the frequency of floods and epidemics, the EU also allocates funds for disaster response. Some €4 million have been mobilised to assist CAR refugees with shelter, food and non-food items, safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and health care.