Cameroon + 2 more

UNICEF Cameroon Humanitarian Situation Report, April 2017

Situation Report
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  • The 70% funding gap is severely impacting humanitarian efforts in Cameroon, especially the CAR response, as technical and financial partners have redirected funding to target the most vulnerable.

  • Since the beginning of the conflict, 144 schools near the border with Nigeria in the North and Far North have closed due to high insecurity, jeopardizing the education of thousands of children.

  • Given that the conflict in CAR is continuing, the only viable alternative to resettlement is the empowerment and inclusion of refugees in host communities.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Impact of the Lake Chad Basin Crisis:

Despite international efforts to mitigate the impact of Boko Haram and prevent their expansion, escalating violence in the Lake Chad Basin has caused widespread suffering and displacement, especially in the Far North of Cameroon where Boko Haram attacks are occurring on the Nigerian border every two to three days.

According to UNHCR, 62,829 Nigerian refugees were benefiting from humanitarian assistance in the Minawao refugee camp. DTM 7 also shows that the majority of IDPs and out of camp refugees are located in the Logone and Chari department, with the Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga departments also having large numbers, and that 43,435 returnees have been reported. Those in areas close to the Nigerian border, where there is a lack of humanitarian access in combination with the security issues, are particularly vulnerable. According to the regional education delegation, at least 144 schools have been forced to close in the area near the Nigerian border since the beginning of the conflict.
Furthermore, because of Boko Haram attacks on health centres, many locations have been looted and abandoned.

Impact of the CAR crisis:

The East and Adamawa regions continue to face the demographic and social pressures of the refugee crisis in combination with a drastic reduction in aid. The majority are out of camp refugees residing in host communities (178,000, 72%).

According to UNHCR in Bertoua, the influx of refugees to Cameroon has dropped considerably this year with about 500 refugees registered since January 2017: 80 in Touboro and the remainder in Betaré Oya. Return is not expected as security issues in the CAR continue and 20,000 people gathered on the CAR side of the border.

The empowerment of refugees in a move from humanitarian assistance to sustainable development is the only viable alternative to the resettlement of refugees in a context of political instability and insecurity in the CAR. Difficulties in accessing land and achieving peaceful cohabitation, as well as limitations of refugee movements are hampering these efforts. Failure to consider the resilience of host communities in targeting is a lost opportunity to reduce the social burden of the crisis on these communities, as current targeting only focuses on refugees. UNICEF conducted a field mission to analyze the situation and resulted in a recommendation to develop a strategy for strengthening community resilience.