Cameroon - Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA), December 2017

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This report presents the results of the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) study carried out in May 2017 across the entire territory of Cameroon (10 regions).

Around 16% of households are estimated to be food insecure (3.9 million people), including 1% that are severely food insecure (around 211,000 people). The regions of the Great North that have historically been exposed to issues related to food availability, access and utilization are still among the most food insecure, particularly the Far North (33.7% of food insecure households), followed by Adamawa (15.4%) and Nord (15.3%). Surprisingly, the regions of North West and West also recorded high rates of food insecurity (respectively, 18.1% and 18% of households), most probably because of the Anglophone crisis that escalated in West affecting its neighbouring regions.

More than a fifth of rural households (22%) are food insecure compared to 10.5% of urban households. In rural areas, the most common sources of income are agriculture and small businesses, while in urban areas, these are public or private skilled labour (37.1%) and traders (20.3%).

Approximately 22% of households have inadequate food consumption, including 18% with borderline and 3% with poor food consumption. The situation has deteriorated compared to the 2011 CFSVA, with a 35% increase of rural households consuming inadequate diets. The most significant increase occurred in the Far North (+22 pp), North West (+27 pp) and Adamawa (+ 8 pp).

Overall, 7.5% of children 6-59 months had low mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), ranging from 13% in North to 1.7% in West and with differences by place of residence: rural areas (9.8%), other urban areas (5.3%) and Yaoundé and Douala (3.5%).

Overall, 7 out of 10 households reported having experienced a shock during the 30 days before the survey. More than 80% of households in the divisions of Logone-et-Chari, Mayo-Danay, Mayo-Kani,
Mayo-Sava and Mayo-Tsanaga (all located in the region of the Far North) were affected by at least one shock. The type of shocks that households experienced varies across regions and wealth groups.
Overall, illness or death of a household member (39.7% of households), loss of job or of income sources (26.1%) and delayed rains/droughts (25.4%) are among the most frequently reported shocks.
Erratic rainfalls and pests, together with unusual diseases of livestock or crops represent the most frequently reported shocks by households located in Far-North, North, North-West and West – where agriculture is the main income generating activity.

One in five households have adopted coping mechanisms that had a negative impact on their livelihoods. This includes coping strategies classified into three severity categories: stress (26.3%), crisis (18.1%) and emergency (2.9%). The top three most adopted coping strategies were as follows: 33.7% of households spent savings (classified as stress), 18.2% borrowed money/food (classified as stress) and 12% reduced expenses on health and education (classified as crisis).

Nationally, almost a third (30%) of households spend more than 75% of their expenditure on food, although there is significant geographic variation: Far North (54.2%), Adamawa (41.8%), and North (43.5%). Moreover, 73.8% of households do not have access to credit. Those who contract debts mainly use it to pay school fees (29%), to access health services (26%), and to buy food (16.6%).

The wealth index shows a north-south divide: the northern part of the country has the highest prevalence of households in the poorest quartile, especially in the Far North, where 65% of households are in the poorest quartile. Conversely, the southern part of the country has a higher prevalence of middle income and better off households, with peaks in the urbanized cities of Yaoundé and Douala.

Agriculture production patterns diverge across food secure and food insecure regions. In food insecure regions such as West and Far North, food production is relatively low despite a higher than average proportion of the population cultivating lands (70% and 76% respectively). In these regions, the main constraints are access to land and low yields. In food secure regions such as South and East, production per farmer is much higher (2.8MT/farmer and 2.2MT/farmer respectively) despite a lower proportion of the population being farmers (58% and 59% respectively).