North-West and South West situation report (1-30 September 2021 )
UN agencies and humanitarian partners had to fully suspend humanitarian activities as non-State armed groups declared lockdown from 15 September to 2 October.
Schools resumed in the North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions with recurrent NSAGs attacks on children and teachers .
Insecurity displaced over 4,724 people in the NWSW, and to the West and Littoral regions.
An estimated 200,000 persons did not receive food assistance due to the ban of humanitarian activities during the lockdown.
On 6 September, school doors for the 2021-2022 academic year opened in Cameroon, including in the North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions. However, two out of three schools remained closed, keeping over 700,000 children and adolescents out of school. According to statistics from SW education authorities, collected after the first week of schooling, 53 per cent of secondary schools in the region were not functional. At the basic education level, 49 per cent of primary schools and 47 per cent of Nursery schools still have their doors closed. In the NW region, the situation is worse as only 23 per cent of secondary schools were functional as of 15 September.
On 11 September, a NSAG announced a general lockdown in the two regions from 15 September to 2 October 2021. The decision banned all movement, work, and social activities. The announcement did not exempt humanitarian activities but gave the exception for ambulances for medical emergencies only. Access to basic services including health, education, and livelihoods was severely affected, and protection activities were severely impacted.
During the lockdown, all schools and community learning spaces were closed, except for some schools in few urban areas which operated at less than 60 per cent of their capacity, compared to the first week of the 2021-2022 academic year. About 200,000 people missed food rations due to the interruption of humanitarian activities and food distributions. Health Cluster partners operating in hard-to-reach and conflict-affected areas could not provide mobile clinic services or critical assistance.
On the eve of the lockdown, about 700 people fled their villages to West and Littoral regions, and about 1,800 persons moved to urban centers or safer localities within the NWSW.
Additionnaly, the security situation worsened in certain areas, with frequent use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against military, and increased armed confrontations between State security forces and NSAGs. Partners reported kidnappings and attacks against people defying the lockdown including bike riders, students and teachers. This caused the displacement of over 2,224 additional people before the lockdown.
Since 15 September, UN agencies and humanitarian partners have been obliged to fully suspend humanitarian activities and put on hold the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in need in both regions. Lockdowns negatively impact the humanitarian response which is drastically underfunded. As of 30 September, only 15.8 per cent of the NWSW 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan had been funded.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.