In 2015, Cameroon saw a dramatic deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country. Most Nigerian refugees live in the Minawao camp, which has largely exceeded its capacity and has a very serious problem of water availability, shelter, latrines and showers. The are also many refugees located outside the camp who have no protection nor sufficient assistance.
While the basic needs of Central African Republic refugees living in the East for over two years are mostly covered by humanitarian assistance, some important gaps remain in terms of shelter, access to sanitation and livelihood. Most refugees have no income at all and completely rely on humanitarian aid. As the refugees' permanence in Cameroon is protracting, it is important to build their self-reliance and resilience.
EU humanitarian response
The European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department has provided humanitarian aid funding in response to the various crises, floods and epidemics which have affected Cameroon over the past decade. In 2016, EU’s humanitarian assistance to Cameroon totalled €25.1 million.
EU funding provides assistance to refugees with shelter, food, safe drinking water and sanitation, health care and child protection. The European Commission also allocates funds for disaster response, assistance to populations affected by floods and epidemics, such as cholera.
To address the deteriorating nutrition situation in the Far North, the Commission has expanded its response to populations affected by the conflict and living outside the refugees camp, and it is facilitating their access to primary health care. Additional support has been provided to cover need gaps in water, sanitation and hygiene in Minawao and Gawar camps.
In order to improve humanitarian access to the areas hosting the largest number of internally displaced populations – where few organisations are present due to insecurity – the Commission is also funding the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), with flights connecting Yaoundé, Maroua and Ndjamena.