Cameroon + 2 more

UNICEF Cameroon Humanitarian Situation Report, August 2018

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Highlights

• Despite vigorous efforts by the national and humanitarian actors including UNICEF, the cholera outbreak that emerged in mid-May has recorded 235 cases in the North and Central regions as of 29 August, an increase of 93 cases since 1 August.

• 16,155 IDPs in the localities of Kolofata and Tolkomari in Mayo Sava division received WASH kits.

• In the NW/SW, UNICEF has initiated programs in child protection, and is preparing to implement programs in WASH, health and nutrition.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

The South West region continues to experience large-scale displacements due to ongoing conflict in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. The updated estimate shared by OCHA indicates that there are now 246,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the region. While the figure is an estimate and not verified, the total number of IDPs in these two regions has now increased to 256,000; however, there is no valid data for the North-West. To respond to the growing humanitarian needs, UNICEF has started implementing a project in child protection, while preparing to implement projects in health, water and sanitation, and nutritional screening. Communication for Development (C4D) will reinforce these projects through social mobilisation and community engagement.

Despite the vigorous efforts by the national and humanitarian actors including UNICEF, the cholera outbreak that emerged in mid-May has recorded 235 cases in the North and Central regions as of 29 August, an increase of 93 cases since 1 August. 163 cases with 16 deaths are reported in eight of 15 health districts in the North region (Bibemi, Garoua II, Gaschiga, Golombe, Guider, Mayo Oulo, Ngong, Pitoa), while Central region recorded 72 cases with one death in three of 30 health districts (Cite-Verte, Djoungolo, Mfou). UNICEF continues to support the response through coordination, preparedness, and prevention activities. 750 Community Health Workers (CHWs) were trained in the North region and conducted awareness raising campaigns in the whole of North region.

250 new IDPs, who fled the insecurity along the border area with Nigeria, such as Zhelevet and Tourou, arrived in Zamai IDP site in August. To respond to the increased needs for sanitation, 30 new emergency latrines have been built by WASH partners (Cameroonian Red Cross in partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Luxemburg Red Cross). Given the continuous flow of new arrivals in 2018 and now the total population of the site reaching 2,270 people, UNICEF conducted a rapid assessment on 23 August on the water and sanitation situation. The main recommendation was to shift from emergency latrines to household latrines as a more sustainable approach since it is unclear when these IDPs could leave the site. This will be discussed at the next WASH coordination meeting. UNICEF continues to support the IDPs and host community in the domains of health and nutrition by providing nutrition inputs and medicines at Zamai Health Centre, while supporting children with psychosocial support at child friendly spaces through the implementing partner ALDEPA. UNICEF also supported the organization of catch-up course for IDP children from Zamai site to train and prepare 37 children (22 girls and 15 boys) to primary school entry as well as 101 IDP children (40 girls and 61 boys) who dropped out previously to be reintegrated into the formal school system this academic year. It is planned that all children who benefited from this catch-up course will be accommodated by the formal school system in September and will benefit from school supplies.

In the East and Adamawa regions, asylum seekers continue to arrive in small numbers. According to the representative of the refugees, the artisanal gold mining sites attract most of the new arrivals without any documentation, and they move from one site to another in search of potentially more profitable mining sites. This situation makes it difficult to estimate or register new arrivals, but community sources estimated that more than 300 asylum seekers have not been documented in Betare Oya, Lom and Djerem division while these figures amount to more than 1,800 in Kadei division, according to the estimates of UNHCR.

The application of new targeting approach for beneficiaries for the food distribution by WFP, which began in the seven refugee sites in the East and Adamawa regions in August, was met with reluctance by refugees from the Gado site who rejected the new criteria expressing the view that many vulnerable people are not considered. This rejection by the refugees, although non-violent, led to the suspension of food distributions for a few weeks, until it resumed during the last week of August.