Cameroon

Cameroon: Population Movement in the Far North - Operation update no. 1, DREF n° MDRCM030

Attachments

Summary of major revisions made to Emergency Plan of Action:

This update of the DREF operation aims to revise the operation based on the results of the assessment conducted by the Cameroon Red Cross (CRC) from 21 December 2021 to 04 January 2022. This update also serves to inform on the evolution of the internal population movement from Logone and Chari which started on 5 December 2021, to provide missing data from the initial approved plan and to provide a strategy to address the identified multi-sectoral priority needs.

To date, the situation of conflict related IDPs has not improved due to the fear and renewed clashes on 10 January 2022. The clashes of 10 January 2022 in Logone Birni led to further population displacements, but mainly within the Logone et Chari department without any major impact on the number of people already in Diamaré. This situation has rather reinforced the resistance to any possible return intentions that some IDPs might have in Diamaré. Thus, at the level of Diamaré, there were no notable changes in the data after this event. According to recent figures by OCHA (16 February 2022), the number of IDPs is presently at 36,271 among which 10,465 in Diamaré. According to the evaluation report carried out by the NS in December, needs in shelter, WASH, NFI and sensitization were identified. Though many humanitarian actors already provided assistance, an intervention is still relevant. The main changes highlighted in this update are the following:

  • The number of beneficiaries has been revised from 813 households (6,500 people) to 299 households or 2,093 targeted people representing the population of the Adoumare site (Pétté sub-division) and the Kourgaya site (Bogo subdivision since the sub-divisions of Maroua 1, 2 and 3 are fairly well covered, which is not the case for these sites that have not yet received any assistance. The displaced staying with host families are not considered, but only those who are in the open sites. Other partners have more or less started to carry out some actions in these localities, although the level of assistance is still very low compared to the needs.

  • The Mayo Danay Division has been removed from the target of this operation as there are no internally displaced persons.

  • DREF will target the districts of Bogo and Pétté, in the Diamaré Division (only for sensitisation) according to the assessment data. In addition, the locality of Pétté (still in the Diamaré), which was not initially targeted has been added because according to the assessment of the situation of IDPs carried out by the CRC/IFRC team in the above-mentioned Divisions, it is home to many IDPs.

  • In terms of needs and priority areas of action, the Cameroon Red Cross intends to add new activities and provide assistance to 299 people or 2,093 families in sites not yet covered in the Bogo and Pétté subdivisions, namely Adoumare (Pétté) and Kougaya’s (Bogo) internally displaced persons who are in the Bogo and Pétté localities.

  • The assistance is broken down as follows:

    • Distribution of WASH kits to 299 families;

    • Distribution of household items to 299 families;

    • Distribution of menstrual hygiene kits to 204 women of childbearing age (18% of the female population (1,130) in the two target sites in the Bogo and Pétté districts);

    • Restoring Family Links (RFL) and protection activities.

  • The end date for the implementation of the operation is revised to 31 May 2022, i.e., additional 3 months for a total duration of 5 months.

  • The operation requires an additional budget of CHF 59,553 for a total amount of CHF 124,923.

A. SITUATION ANALYSIS

Description of the disaster

Since 5 December 2021, inter-community violence between Choas Arabs and the Mousgoum and Massa communities has broken out in the Far North region, mainly in the Logone-and-Chari department. This crisis began in the Logone Birni subdivision and intensified, giving rise to several outbreaks of clashes in this division.

On December 8, 2021, in the town of Kousseri, capital of the Logone-and-Chari division, a new escalation of inter- community violence took place with heavy humanitarian consequences. The number of IDPs in the region was 35,102. Return movements were recorded in the Logone Birni subdivision. By 31 December 2021, 1,819 people (80% of whom were refugees) had returned to their villages of origin. Faced with this crisis, the movement mobilised to ensure a response on both sides of the Cameroon border by launching 2 DREF operations in December 2021: a multisectoral DREF response to assist 10,000 Cameroon refugees in Chad MDRTD020 and this DREF response in Cameroon to conduct assessments for the collection of missing information and start WASH risk mitigation activities.

Data from the assessment conducted by the joint CRC and IFRC team from 21 December 2021 to 4 January 2022 showed some changes in the situation:

  • Internal displacement flows have evolved with more IDPs in the Logone and Chari and Diamaré divisions and very few in the other divisions of the region. For Diamaré there were approximately 14,925 people (more than 8,825 in the subdivisions of Bogo, 2,600 IDPs in Pétté (2,600) and 3,500 in Maroua 1, 2, and 3. It should be noted that all the IDPs who arrived in Mayo Danay converged to the Diamaré division and that Mayo Danay division did not experience a significant influx of IDPs from Logone and Chari.

  • IDPs from Diamaré who are concentrated between Bogo, Pétté are mostly settled in spaces/settings provided by religious and traditional leaders and are open sites without shelter or facilities. The densest of the sites are: Adjaniré (Bogo),

  • As for the Mayo Sava division, the assessment made by the authorities showed that this division has a fairly limited number of displaced persons linked to this crisis. Around 300 peoples.

The effective and permanent presence of the forces of law and order has been increased and appeasement actions have been undertaken by the authorities at various levels throughout the Far North region, which have allowed a certain gradual return to calm. Although all these measures have been taken, the tension remains perceptible, and population’s fears could lead to the displacement of more people towards Diamaré.

The latest updates, carried out by the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) as of 28 January 2022, show 5,269 displaced households (36,271 people), distributed between the departments of Logone et Chari, Diamaré, and Mayo-Sava. To be note that the violence of 10 January between the Mousgoum community and the forces of order in Kousseri led to further movements of people who remained mostly in the localities of Logone et Chari department without much impact on Diamaré department. According to the report sent by OCHA on 16 February, approximately 1279 households, or 9976 displaced persons, have returned to their localities of origin. However, it should be noted that these returns are taking place within the Logone et Chari department, while our intervention is taking place in the Diamaré department.

With regard to movements towards Chad, approximately 37,500 refugees have been pre-registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Chadian authorities as of 26 January 2021. Some return movements were reported between the end of December and mid-January in some areas. Around 1,279 households, or 9,976 displaced persons, have returned to their localities of origin from OCHA coordination meeting information shared on 16 February 2022.

In Logone et Chari, 1,819 people were reported to have returned, 80% of them from Chad. In Diamaré, the authorities in the arrondissement of Pétté reported the return of around 60 IDPs to Mayo-Danay. In general, returns are significant in Logone et Chari, and the propensity to return is gradually changing in localities with exclusively Arab populations. This is not the case in localities where both communities used to live, as the fear of new violence is still present.

Diamaré is the division least at risk, but it remains the one that has received and is likely to receive more displaced people if the situation continues to have peaks of clashes or does not recover. Five of the 9 subdivisions covered by the Diamaré have experienced an influx of displaced people from the Logone and Chari crisis.

As of today, needs are still the same, though humanitarian actors started assisting people in various sectors. During last coordination meeting, OCHA revealed that the response was still incomplete response in most sectors and that the need for food security and livelihoods was still there.

On the Chad side of the coordination of cross-border interventions, the IFRC office has continued to monitor the situation with the Chad Red Cross, and it appears that there has been a lull in the influx of refugees. According to the report of the coordination meeting with OCHA on 19 January 2022, there were reported returns to Logone Birni (in Logone and Chari) in late December 2021. Around 1,800 people initially fled to Chad since the beginning of the crisis. This slow return further confirms the observations on the slow or refusal to return made by the Cameroon Red Cross regarding IDPs during assessments.