- Poverty and recurring environmental shocks contribute to hunger in Cameroon, where an estimated 3.9 million people—16 percent of the country—face moderate or severe food insecurity, the UN World Food Program (WFP) reports. In addition, protracted crises in neighboring Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as growing civil unrest and violence in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions, are driving population displacement and exacerbating humanitarian needs.
- To date in 2018, nearly 265,000 refugees from CAR have sought shelter in Cameroon, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In addition, UNHCR reports that Boko Haram-related violence has driven approximately 98,000 Nigerian refugees into Far North Region, where 228,000 Cameroonians are internally displaced. Meanwhile, the UN notes that there are an estimated 246,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Southwest Region and 104,000 IDPs in Northwest Region.
- According to a recent Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis—a tool used in West Africa for the classification and quantification of food insecurity—covering Northwest, Southwest and the neighboring West Region, about 1.4 million people will face Stressed (Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity between March and May. In addition, nearly 486,000 people—approximately 7 percent of the three regions’ total population—will face Crisis (Phase 3) conditions during that period.
- Above-average rainfall during the June-to-September rainy season will likely facilitate favorable main-season agricultural production in late 2018 in Far North, with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) anticipating that harvests may surpass the five-year average. Cereal prices have also decreased compared to last year, increasing access to food in markets. However, a tense security situation—including frequent attacks by Boko Haram and cattle rustling—will likely undermine normal livelihoods and trade activities in the coming months, and FEWS NET expects Stressed (IPC 2) levels of acute food insecurity to persist for many poor households in Far North through at least January 2019.