Cameroon

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Country Facts

DRC present since:

2017

Staff on location:

77

Displaced population:

2,300,000

Displacement Situation

Cameroon sits at the nexus of three parallel regional and domestic crises that have triggered a marked deterioration in socio-economic and security conditions throughout the country. Refugees, migrants, and Cameroonian host communities are experiencing increasing food insecurity, malnutrition, exposure to protection risks, and general strain on resources and infrastructure. 

In the north, the desertification of Lake Chad and the Boko Haram crisis, which originates in neighbouring Nigeria, have devastated local communities, sparking displacement and conflict. Nearly 500,000 people are now displaced in Cameroon’s far north, including 115,000 Nigerian refugees. A further 50,000 Cameroonians have fled into Nigeria. 

To the east, refugees have been fleeing the chronically unstable Central African Republic for many years, particularly since the most recent civil conflict began there in 2013. Today Cameroon hosts some 270,000 Central African refugees. 

And in the west, longstanding complaints of political and cultural marginalization in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions developed into an armed separatist insurgency in 2017. Some 680,000 Cameroonians and counting are now internally displaced and increasingly vulnerable as a result of this growing conflict, with a majority still lacking essential humanitarian support.  

DRC Response 

DRC has been present in Cameroon since 2017, implementing humanitarian response programming with Central African refugees and Cameroonian host communities in Adamawa Region and internally displaced Cameroonians in Southwest Region. DRC’s interventions focus on emergency shelter and provision of essential items, protection (including psychosocial support and rights counselling), community development, income generation activities, and school funding and rehabilitation work. 

In Adamawa Region, DRC supports community protection committees and local institutions to strengthen their capacities in identifying persons at risk and survivors of human rights violations. DRC works with these local structures to provide assistance to persons in need, including psychosocial support and material assistance to cover basic needs. 

In Southwest Region, DRC focuses on protection, child protection, and the provision of emergency shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI). The protection programming delivers psychosocial support, individual protection assistance, protection monitoring, and community-based protection response to crisis affected communities, individuals, and children. Emergency shelter and NFI programming aims to provide humanitarian assistance to crisis affected households who have been forced to flee violence and insecurity.  

Contact

Yann Faivre

Regional Director

[email protected]

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Snapshots

Good health is a duty to keep the mind strong and clear
Mrs Ljang

Mrs. Margaret Ijang is internally displaced from Ikata, a remote community where repeated serious human rights violations have taken place over the past years. She is 36 years old, a farmer and mother of five. When DRC met Mrs. Ijang she suffered from constant pains in her abdomen, which forced her to stop working and lose her source of income. She said: “The pain has become unbearable for me, and I am afraid it could take away my life if I do not get treatment soon. It makes me worry very much because I am a single mother.” DRC referred her to the nearby hospital where she was diagnosed with an acute umbilical hernia and received treatment, with financial support from the European Union. After receiving treatment, she declared: “I do not know where to start, thank you DRC! You have brought me back to life! Since I received treatment, I am not feeling the pain anymore. My hopes for my young children have been restored.”

Good health is a duty to keep the mind strong and clear

Mrs. Margaret Ijang is internally displaced from Ikata, a remote community where repeated serious human rights violations have taken place over the past years. She is 36 years old, a farmer and mother of five. When DRC met Mrs. Ijang she suffered from constant pains in her abdomen, which forced her to stop working and lose her source of income. She said: “The pain has become unbearable for me, and I am afraid it could take away my life if I do not get treatment soon. It makes me worry very much because I am a single mother.” DRC referred her to the nearby hospital where she was diagnosed with an acute umbilical hernia and received treatment, with financial support from the European Union. After receiving treatment, she declared: “I do not know where to start, thank you DRC! You have brought me back to life! Since I received treatment, I am not feeling the pain anymore. My hopes for my young children have been restored.”

Mrs Ljang
Little help leading to big changes

Yende Fabiola is a single mother of three children under nine years old. Due to high insecurity in Southwest Cameroon, she has been displaced multiple times, which caused her to lose her job and her sewing machine. Fabiola was selected as one of the beneficiaries to receive a Non-Food Item kit containing blankets, mosquito nets, buckets, soap, utensils, and cooking pots. Mrs. Fabiola immediately transformed her kit into a livelihood source. She says “a Samaritan offered me a few household items and a small space to use as a restaurant. To these I added my NFI kit and started my business.” She adds: “I am so happy I was assisted with this kit by DRC. I can now boast about having my own business which will help me take care of my children. We will no longer depend on the community for food and other things.”

Little help leading to big changes

Yende Fabiola is a single mother of three children under nine years old. Due to high insecurity in Southwest Cameroon, she has been displaced multiple times, which caused her to lose her job and her sewing machine. Fabiola was selected as one of the beneficiaries to receive a Non-Food Item kit containing blankets, mosquito nets, buckets, soap, utensils, and cooking pots. Mrs. Fabiola immediately transformed her kit into a livelihood source. She says “a Samaritan offered me a few household items and a small space to use as a restaurant. To these I added my NFI kit and started my business.” She adds: “I am so happy I was assisted with this kit by DRC. I can now boast about having my own business which will help me take care of my children. We will no longer depend on the community for food and other things.”

Fabiola
Light at the end of the tunnel
Light

The rural community of Malende (Southwest region), has been gravely affected by the ongoing conflict in the anglophone regions of Cameroon. The national power grid is often damaged and the community is left without electricity for long periods of time. With the support of the EU, DRC distributed solar streetlights to the community improving safety and reducing protection risks for the 3,000 inhabitants. A female member of the community said: “We cannot stop thanking DRC for this wonderful project! I stopped hearing about harassment of women and physical assault cases since the lights were installed, and I feel so safe again!” A small shop retailer declared: “I had stopped selling at night for a very long time but now I am able to do that again. These lights really make me happy and I cannot stop saying thanks to DRC and their donor”.

Light at the end of the tunnel

The rural community of Malende (Southwest region), has been gravely affected by the ongoing conflict in the anglophone regions of Cameroon. The national power grid is often damaged and the community is left without electricity for long periods of time. With the support of the EU, DRC distributed solar streetlights to the community improving safety and reducing protection risks for the 3,000 inhabitants. A female member of the community said: “We cannot stop thanking DRC for this wonderful project! I stopped hearing about harassment of women and physical assault cases since the lights were installed, and I feel so safe again!” A small shop retailer declared: “I had stopped selling at night for a very long time but now I am able to do that again. These lights really make me happy and I cannot stop saying thanks to DRC and their donor”.

Light
“Our Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) is a source of social cohesion and a durable solution for its members"
Corn Harvest 2

The traditional banking system is often inaccessible to the poorest people in Cameroon. DRC provided its expertise to assist villagers in Eastern Cameroon in the creation of a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) that gives its members the opportunity to take out loans with low repayment interest rates set by the members themselves. One of the VSLA members explains: "DRC calls this group “VSLA”, but for us it is a self-help association because it allows us not only to save regularly but also to support each other, regardless of ethnicity or religion.” Some of the savings were used to develop a community field of corn coupled with cassava. A member describes: "Looking at our first harvests, I can assure you that this village savings group is thriving. This gives our members a lot of hope of improving their living conditions."

“Our Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) is a source of social cohesion and a durable solution for its members"

The traditional banking system is often inaccessible to the poorest people in Cameroon. DRC provided its expertise to assist villagers in Eastern Cameroon in the creation of a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) that gives its members the opportunity to take out loans with low repayment interest rates set by the members themselves. One of the VSLA members explains: "DRC calls this group “VSLA”, but for us it is a self-help association because it allows us not only to save regularly but also to support each other, regardless of ethnicity or religion.” Some of the savings were used to develop a community field of corn coupled with cassava. A member describes: "Looking at our first harvests, I can assure you that this village savings group is thriving. This gives our members a lot of hope of improving their living conditions."

Corn Harvest 2
“Today, I can meet my primary needs”
Tresor 2

Mbaindo Trésor, a young Central African refugee, is 30 years old and has four young children. He fled his country of origin in 2013 due to the widespread violence and settled in Cameroon, where he had to start from scratch. DRC assisted Mbaindo with unconditional cash during five months in the lean season, and with a small mill to generate income for his family. He says: “it allowed me to better meet the needs of my family.” “My friend and I immediately started using the mill by processing flour for the inhabitants of the community who paid us for our service. Thanks to the revenues generated by this activity, we bought a second mill. I am now able to respond much better to the basic needs of my household. I manage to feed, care for and educate my children, and I enjoy good social standing in the community.”

“Today, I can meet my primary needs”

Mbaindo Trésor, a young Central African refugee, is 30 years old and has four young children. He fled his country of origin in 2013 due to the widespread violence and settled in Cameroon, where he had to start from scratch. DRC assisted Mbaindo with unconditional cash during five months in the lean season, and with a small mill to generate income for his family. He says: “it allowed me to better meet the needs of my family.” “My friend and I immediately started using the mill by processing flour for the inhabitants of the community who paid us for our service. Thanks to the revenues generated by this activity, we bought a second mill. I am now able to respond much better to the basic needs of my household. I manage to feed, care for and educate my children, and I enjoy good social standing in the community.”

Tresor 2