UNICEF is requesting US$40.2 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Cameroon in 2015.
Cameroon faces multiple concurrent emergencies particularly affecting the North and East of the country bordering CAR and Nigeria. Both countries are respectively torn by internal conflict and Boko Haram insurrections causing large population displacement. 312,000 refugees are expected in 2015 (CAR 242,000 and Nigeria 70,000). Most of them will be children, including 20 per cent below the age of five. Over 250,000 school-age children are in need of humanitarian assistance, including access to education. Droughts and climate hazards combined with structural weaknesses and chronic under-development result in food insecurity and under-nutrition. In Northern Cameroon between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of children are affected by acute malnutrition. For 2015, the total expected number of people experiencing global acute malnutrition (GAM) is 228,178, mostly concentrated in the four priority regions. This same area is also at high risk of cholera outbreaks and accounts for 98 per cent of all cases in 2014. In addition, 43 health districts (22.7 per cent) are at risk of a measles epidemic while nine cases of polio and suspected cases of meningitis have also emerged in the East.
UNICEF takes a lead role in mobilizing and involving key stakeholders in humanitarian crisis response, specifically in nutrition, WASH and education. The technical lead role undertaken by UNICEF is aimed to define critical interventions to be carried out, and to set up practical monitoring mechanisms. UNICEF supports malnourished children through community-based management of acute malnutrition and the delivery of nutritional supplements and essential drugs for treating complications among children with SAM and other childhood illnesses that are directly linked to the incidence of malnutrition. WASH activities are developed for nutritional centers and at the household level to protect children with SAM and to halt the vicious cycle of malnutrition and diarrhea. UNICEF supports the prevention and treatment of cholera through behavior change activities, including activities related to water, sanitation and hygiene services. This also includes cholera case management by making essential supplies available and by training partners in case management. In the East and Adamawa regions UNICEF has established a permanent presence, and is implementing an Integrated Emergency Response package for refugees (CAR and Nigeria) and for host communities including nutrition, health, HIV, WASH, education and child protection related interventions as part of the coordinated humanitarian effort with UNHCR. In the North of Cameroon, targeted kidnappings and armed attacks by Boko Haram are on the rise. UNICEF is increasingly concerned of the impact on the protection of children especially as several cases of children associated with armed groups are reported. UNICEF response includes Nutrition, WASH and child protection interventions for refugees, host communities and IDPs.