Cameroon + 1 more

UNICEF Cameroon Humanitarian Situation Report, October 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



• In initial response to serious flooding in Zina and Kai Kai districts of Far North Region, UNICEF distributed emergency supplies including WASH and Dignity Kits, plastic sheeting, water filters and aqua-tabs benefitting over 2,000 people.

• Over 18,400 school aged children in the North-West, South-West,
Littoral and West regions are attending education with a teacher trained in psychosocial support, conflict and disaster risk reduction using the UNICEF umbrella-based methodology.

• In response to the ongoing armed conflict impacting districts adjoining NE Nigeria, UNICEF provided psychosocial support to 3,314 children (1,407 girls and 1,907 boys) in community-based Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) and other secure spaces through its implementing partners in Logone-and-Chari, Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga divisions of Far North Region.


2,300,000 # of children in need of humanitarian assistance

4,300,000 # of people in need (Cameroon Humanitarian Needs Overview 2019)


536,107 # of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-West and South-West regions (IOM Displacement Monitoring, #16) {Does this include the ones in Littoral and West? If yes, this should be clarified}

381,444 # of Returnees in the North-West and South-West regions (IOM Displacement Matrix,
August 2019)

372,854 # of IDPs and Returnees in the Far-North region (IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix 18, April 2019)

106,418 # of Nigerian Refugees in rural areas (UNHCR Fact Sheet, September 2019)

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

UNICEF participated in two interagency missions in South-West Region. On 10 October, UNHCR, UNDP and UNICEF travelled by road from Buea to Mamfe town (Mamfe subdivision, Manyu division) located 64 km from the border with Nigeria. The mission objective was to conduct a security assessment of the road and the town, and to identify actors on the ground with potential to scale up humanitarian delivery through UN agency support, including UNICEF. The mission also identified potential accommodations facilities to enable future, longer-term missions. On 17 October, UNICEF, UNDP, OCHA and UNDSS conducted programme monitoring/assessment mission from Bamenda to Konye town and Diongo Centre (Konye subdivision, Meme division). Destruction was evident in the centre of Konye with part of the population displaced to the forest. The mission observed damaged and abandoned shops, houses including the government school and health centre. Konye District Hospital and Konye health centre were abandoned and vandalized. Although a functional health centre is 5 km away, people prefer to travel to Kumba town, 40 km from Konye, due to dilapidated road infrastructure including an unsafe bridge leading to the health center. There is a functional health centre in Diongo Centre, however it reported shortage of drugs. Though unverified, cases of unaccompanied children have been reported in both locations. Some humanitarian assistance is being provided in both locations, including UNICEF-supported WASH activities for Diongo Centre and mobile health services for IDPs in the adjacent forest since April. UNICEF together with clusters will investigate on ways in providing more comprehensive and adequate assistance. Needs in health and WASH sectors were identified as priorities, while further assessment is needed for child protection.

In the North-West and South-West regions over 4,100 public primary schools and 744 secondary schools remained closed or non-operational, representing 90 per cent of public primary schools and 77 percent of public secondary schools. This is attributed mainly to the unavailability of teachers, or parents’ fear sending their children to school in an insecure environment or a combination of both. In the South-West Region, UNICEF observes higher attendance rates by both students and teachers. In North-West Region, despite an increase in attendance (from 31,000 children to 52,200) in primary and secondary schools as compared to the last school year, the educational situation remains extremely bad with an estimated 517,818 (91%) primary and secondary school aged children still out of school.

Towards 2020 Education Cluster planning, cluster partners have proposed to target 70% of the estimated ‘People in Need’ – namely 656,000 (328,000 girls), including 333,000 with access to formal and non-formal education in 2020.

To improve cluster-wide strategic education response for conflict affected adolescent school aged children, the cluster drafted an ‘Adolescent in Emergencies Strategy’, with the support of national level Education in Emergency (EIE) working group partners including from other clusters. The strategy aims at increasing relevant education opportunities for conflict affected adolescents in the North-West and South-West regions.

On 18 October, the Education Cluster aligned its strategic objects of 1) improved psychosocial wellbeing of conflict affected children, 2) increased access to quality education through formal and/or non-formal learning for crisis affected children, 3) enhanced response capacity of the affected teachers, schools/learning environment and communities, and 4) improved safe learning environment in conflict affected areas. These objectives are embedded in the draft HRP 2020 overall goals of saving lives and alleviating suffering, supporting affected populations to meet their basic needs, enhancing the resilience of vulnerable populations, and improving the protection of civilians.

Under the leadership of UNICEF an education needs assessment is being planned in Yaounde to identify the needs of urban IDPs.

During the 29 October, Local Education Group (LEG) meeting in Yaounde, a platform coordinated by UNICEF under the Global Education Partnership, development partners were requested to coordinate with the Education Cluster when planning development interventions in the North-West and South-West regions. This recommendation was made in view of conflict sensitivity and the risk level of education interventions which, if not considered, could compromise access to beneficiaries, and the safety of partners.

In the Far North Region, an extended rainy season led to some of the most significant flooding in several years. Conditions had deteriorated in late September and grew progressively worse by mid-month. The localities of east (District of Zina) and south of Lake Maga (District of Kaï Kaï) were flooded when the Logone River burst its banks. UNICEF participated in a series of localized needs assessments undertaken by government, UN agencies, international and local NGOs to communities in the affected areas. Affected areas ranged over a distance of 150km from north to south. Though no deaths were reported, there were significant losses both in terms of infrastructure and material. Initial reports cited significant damage and destruction of houses and more than 47,000 hectares of rice and sorghum fields damaged. Around 40,000 people were reported directly affected in the districts of Zina (Logone and Chari), Maga and Kai-Kai (Mayo Danay) including 19,000 displaced according to OCHA, moving to higher ground along river dikes. Initial needs identified were access to health care, safe drinking water, hygiene and shelter as the most urgent areas for response. The flood impact on the next harvest is likely to be significant. Over 10 schools were reported damaged or destroyed.

In initial response, UNICEF supplied WASH and Dignity Kits, water filters and aqua-tabs benefitting approximately 2,000 people, along with plastic sheeting for 200 households and support for the construction of 50 latrines. Additional emergency supplies were moved up from the Douala emergency warehouse for rapid distribution including water containers, chlorine, ECD kits, essential drugs, LLINs. Physical access was a major constraint with most of the affected villages reachable only by boat/pirogue with journeys of 4-5 hours.

UNICEF is developing a 90-day plan for the response and early recovery. Priority concerns are the high risk of water borne diseases due to standing water and contamination. Child nutritional status will be at risk in coming months due to crops losses.

In addition to the flooding crisis, the Far North region continues to register cholera cases. According to WHO, rapid access to treatment is essential during a cholera outbreak. Oral rehydration should be available in communities, in addition to larger treatment centres that can provide intravenous fluids and 24-hour care. With early and proper treatment, the case fatality rate should remain below 1%. As of 21 October, 478 cases were registered since 1 January 2019 with 19 deaths, a 4.0% case fatality rate.