At the conclusion of a four-day visit to Cameroon, Ursula Mueller, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, calls on the international community and the Government to strengthen their humanitarian aid actions in the country.
During the visit, she met with the Minister of External Relations and the Governor of the Far North. She visited the Zamai IDP site and the Minawao refugee camp to see first-hand the impact of the deteriorating security situation in the Lake Chad Basin.
“The Lake Chad crisis and violence in the sub-region are far from over. The international community can spare no effort, “said the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Relief. “The violent attacks by armed groups, mainly affiliated with Boko Haram, have increased over the past year and I have seen its direct impact and growing humanitarian needs in the Far North of Cameroon.”
Cameroon is the country most affected by the regional spread of the Boko Haram conflict, which began in northeastern Nigeria nine years ago. More than 60 suicide bombings occurred in the Far North in 2017, a 50% increase over the previous year.
“In the Zamai IDP camp, I met a woman named Sara and her baby. She explained that she and her husband had been abducted by Boko Haram. She managed to escape, but has no idea where her husband is or whether he is still alive or not. We need to be able to provide food, water and other assistance, as well as protection, to women and men like Sara and her 10-month-old baby, “said Mueller. “The response to the increase in forced recruitment and violent attacks should also be increased solidarity with those affected by crises.”
“This is an area that needs more attention, including from donors. Security and access are major challenges, but the lack of funding remains, by far, the biggest obstacle to getting humanitarian aid to those who need it most, “said Mueller.
To date, the humanitarian response plan proposed by UN partners and NGOs to address the most urgent humanitarian needs in the country has received only 5% of the $ 305 million required. In Cameroon, 3.3 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian aid. In the Far North, one in three people (1.5 million people) are currently food insecure in crisis and emergency situations.
English-speaking Cameroonian refugees in full registration by UNHCR officials in Nigeria
The visit of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs also provided an opportunity to discuss other crises facing the country, with an increased influx of Central African refugees and socio-political tensions in the North-West and Central African regions. Southwest.
“The United Nations remains deeply concerned about the situation in Cameroon, including the South West and North West. We once again call on all parties to avoid further escalation of violence and to protect the civilian population, “said Ms. Mueller. “Other fact-finding missions will take place next week and we are providing assistance to displaced people, who are estimated at tens of thousands.”