• More than 118,000 people have benefited from UNICEF’s humanitarian assistance in the North-West and South-West regions since January including 15,800 in August.
• The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) strategy, established in the South-West region in June, was extended into the North-West region in which 1,640 people received WASH kits and Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) in August.
• In August, 265,694 children in the Far-North region were vaccinated against poliomyelitis during the final round of the vaccination campaign launched following the polio outbreak in May.
• During the month of August, 3,087 children received psychosocial support in the Far-North region.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
2,300,000 # of children in need of humanitarian assistance
4,300,000 # of people in need (Cameroon Humanitarian Needs Overview 2019)
530,000 # of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the NorthWest and South-West regions (OCHA Displacement Monitoring, July 2019)
372,854 # of IDPs and Returnees in the Far-North region (IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix 18, April 2019)
105,923 # of Nigerian Refugees in rural areas (UNHCR Fact Sheet, July 2019)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
During the month, rainy season conditions, roadblocks and insecurity significantly impacted the movement of UNICEF and other humanitarian actors in the North-West and South-West regions. Despite the challenges faced, UNICEF’s assistance to the affected population and children reached at least 15,800 people during the month and more than 118,000 beneficiaries since January 2019.
Following the launch of an RRM-like initiative in June for Ekondo Titi sub-division (Ndian division, South-West region) by UNICEF with implementing partners, this was extended in August to Kumbo sub-division (Bui division, NorthWest region) where the emergency needs of 328 households (1,640 people) were assessed and subsequently responded with health (LLINs) and WASH (WASH kits) interventions. Follow up support was undertaken in screening for malnutrition, provision of psychosocial support through Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) and distribution of drugs.
UNICEF conducted a field mission to Mbingo (Belo sub-division, Boyo division, North-West region) where two of its partners (Plan International and CBCHB) implement projects on child protection and health. The purpose of the mission was to identify specific humanitarian needs and to familiarise with the access environment for this area. While no acute needs for water/sanitation and health were observed, the present situation exacerbates people’s ability to meet medical costs in which case the hospital is hard pressed to maintain budget limits. The mission observed that the nutrition treatment provided at the hospital was not in line with the existing national protocol and there was no outpatient treatment option available. People are not seeking medical attention when needed due to lack of financial means, resulting in deterioration of the health condition by the time they get to the hospital. Mission recommendations included conducting health screening at Child Friendly Spaces (CFSs) and in the communities to ensure that children receive treatment in a timely manner, and providing technical and supply assistance to enable out-patient and malnutrition treatment to follow technical protocols.
In the Far-North region, two children in were killed by an unexploded remnant of war (ERW) on 21 August in Hile Alifa sub-division (Logone-et-Chari division). Reportedly, the children took a grenade home after they found it on the road. A near similar incident occurred in July, also killing two children. This situation highlights continuing mortal gaps in knowledge, awareness and practice relative to the risk of ERW for which UNICEF and partners need to scale up further community sensitization and awareness activities, including in school and through education services.
As of 31 August, the resurgence of cases of cholera epidemic in 2019, beginning in May, has recorded a total of 508 cases (338 in the North region and 170 cases in Far-North region) according to the Ministry of Public Health. UNICEF and its partners collaborate with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Water and Energy through response and prevention interventions for the epidemic. In August, UNICEF also conducted household awareness campaign and visited 1,800 households to sensitise 16,840 people on cholera prevention and treatment. Since January, UNICEF has provided a total of 11,215 people with WASH kits, consisting of soaps, bucket, aqua tabs, cups for children.