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Cameroon: Increasing humanitarian needs, UN alarms

Due mainly to insecurity in the north of the country and security crises in the North West and South West regions, the UN estimates that about 4.3 million people need "life support" in Cameroon.
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01/25/2019 - 18:00
Mike Biya
Rédacteur cameroun-online
Des réfugiés nigérians au Cameroun

The humanitarian situation in Cameroon is very worrying, the UN warns. "Today, Cameroon can no longer be a forgotten crisis, it must, more than ever, be our priority," said Allegra Baiocchi, UN humanitarian coordinator for Cameroon, during a press conference in Geneva, this Thursday, January 24, 2019.

In question, the insecurity in the northern part of the country, because of the repeated attacks of terrorist group Boko Haram since 2014. Despite the opposition of the Cameroonian army and countries of the Lake Chad Basin, the members of the Islamist sect continue to show some degree of nuisance, even sporadically.

At least 100,000 Nigerians have crossed the border into Cameroon. "Attacks against civilians have increased and many people affected by the conflict are surviving in difficult conditions without humanitarian assistance," said a UN report.

Furthermore, the current security crisis in the North West and South West regions, where since the end of 2017, armed groups and separatist Armed Forces have been fighting. Causing huge civilian casualties, material damage refugee flow. 437,000 people have been displaced by the conflict in English-speaking areas, and more than 32,000 have fled to neighboring Nigeria, the UN said Thursday.

In addition to these major crises, the security situation is also precarious in eastern Cameroon, where armed groups from Central African Republic thriving acts of banditry and cause instability. Cameroon hosts at least 270,000 Central African refugees who fled the violence.

"We recognize the magnitude of the various crises we face and we encourage all actors to work in close partnership, to meet the needs of Cameroonians and the people we host," said Yap Mariatou, director of cameroon's civil protection, at the Geneva press conference on Thursday.

For its part, the UN estimates that about 4.3 million people, mostly women and children, need "life support" in these crisis areas.

"Humanitarian needs are likely to increase in the coming years," Baiocchi said. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Cameroon expressed particular concern about the underfunding of humanitarian aid operations in the country.

The 2019 Joint Humanitarian Response Plan is projected to require $ 299 million to assist 2.3 million vulnerable people, more than half of those in need. While in 2018, an intervention plan estimated at 320 million dollars for Cameroon had been funded at only 40%. Yet humanitarian needs are likely to increase in the coming years, said Ms. Allegra Baiocchi.

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