Since 2016, political and social instability, exacerbated by sporadic violence, has had a negative impact on the civilian population of Cameroon’s South-West and North-West Regions, hosting four million inhabitants (16 percent of the total population). In November 2017, the socio-political crisis progressively translated into insecurity and violence.
Since then, the escalation of tension and upsurge in hostilities between non-state armed groups and defence and security forces has triggered humanitarian needs across the two regions, linked to significant internal displacement.
The epicentre of the crisis has since moved from Bamenda in the North-West, to Mamfe and Kumba in the SouthWest.
On 7 October 2018, presidential elections in Cameroon were accompanied by electoral-related violence in the anglophone regions of the North-West and South-West. While it is unknown exactly how many have been affected by this recent wave of violence, it is likely that this has created an increase on the more than 246,000 already displaced in the two regions (ACAPS), which could also exacerbate the already vulnerable food security, shelter and health situation.
On 17 October, eight clusters were activated to coordinate the humanitarian response, including the Logistics Cluster.
Logistics Gaps and Bottlenecks
Based on a preliminary assessment by the Global Logistics Cluster, the emergency has not affected the private sector; transporters are present and warehouses are available. However, the unpredictable security situation and reported damage to infrastructure has created access issues, hampering movements of humanitarian personnel and cargo as well as distribution efforts.
In addition, lack of coordination and reliable information has slowed the response and is likely to create duplication of efforts and inflation of prices for service provision.
Based on the needs identified by the humanitarian community, the Logistics Cluster aims to facilitate access to sufficient and reliable logistics services and consolidated information related to logistics capacities in order to enhance the capacity of the humanitarian community to deliver relief items to hard-to-reach locations. All activities are aimed at optimising logistics efforts and ensuring the timely and uninterrupted supply of life-saving relief items to affected populations.