Cameroon

Situation Report

Highlights

  • NORTH-WEST AND SOUTH-WEST REGIONS SITUATION REPORT / 1-30 September 2020
  • In September 2020, there were reports of attacks on education facilites and personnel, kidnapping of students, burning of schools and military use of non-operational schools.
  • Human rights organizations reported 11 civilians killed by state security forces in Buea and Bamenda in September 2020.
  • 676 Gender Based Violence (GBV) incidents were reported in the two regions.
  • The Nutrition and Health clusters reported a decrease in activities in September caused by lockdowns and ghost towns.
Source: OCHA
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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Cameroon

Situation Report

Key Figures

3M
Affected people in NWSW
1.4M
Targeted for assistance in NWSW
705.8K
IDPs within or displaced from NWSW
360.5K
Returnees (former IDP) in NWSW
60.9K
Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria

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Cameroon

Situation Report

Funding

$390.9M
Required
$168.6M
Received
43%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Carla Martinez

Head of Office

James Nunan

Head of Sub-Office South-West region

Ilham Moussa

Head of Sub-Office North-West region

Marie Bibiane Mouangue

Public information Officer

Cameroon

Situation Report
Visual

Map of IDP, Returnees and Refugees from the North-West and South-West Regions of Cameroon

Map of IDP, Returnees and Refugees from the North-West and South-West Regions of Cameroon

Source: OCHA, UNHCR, IOM, CHOI, Partners

The boundaries and names shown, and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Background

Situation Overview

The situation in the North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions of Cameroon remains dire in September 2020 with continuous attacks against civilians and their properties. There were several reports by human rights organizations of summary execution of civilians in both regions by both non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and government security forces. It was reported that at least 11 unarmed civilians were killed by government security forces between 21 and 22 September in the two regions. On 24 September, members of the Cameroon Bar Association addressed a complaint to the Attorney General of the NW Region condemning atrocities by NSAGs and government security forces in events related to the “Bamenda Clean” security operation. The Bar Association called for rule of law to be ensured and protection for the civilian population.

Separatists issued conflicting statements about the 5 October 2020 reopening of schools. Whereas some groups stated that there has been no change in their position about schools in the restive regions, statements issued by other groups endorsed the reopening of school with certain preconditions.

The month also witnessed an increase in the search of vehicles of humanitarian organizations, including the UN, at government security forces checkpoints. OCHA continues to play a leading role with all parties in the crisis in the advocacy for safe humanitarian acces.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Visual

Cameroon 2020 NW-SW Crisis - Funding by sector (in million US$) as of 25 September 2020

Cameroon 2020 NW-SW Crisis

All humanitarian partners, including donors and recipient agencies, are encouraged to inform OCHA's Financial Tracking Service (FTS - http://fts.unocha.org) of cash and in-kind contributions by e-mailing: fts@un.org

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
learners assisted

Humanitarian Response: Education

In September 2020 there were reports of attacks on education facilites and personnel, including the kidnapping of students, the burning of schools and the military use of non-operational schools. This was likely linked to the general school reopening planned for 5 October. From January to September 2020, ten attacks on education were reported, including the killing of a teacher and injuring of primary and secondary school pupil/students. The majority (9 out of 10) of incidents took place in the NW region. The number of incidents reported in 2020 is less than in 2019 however this is likely due to schools being closed because of COVID-19 and therefore not being targeted. NSAGs reportedly kidnapped four primary school children in Keyon at Elak-Oku (Bui division) in the NW. All four of them were rescued the same day. However, during the rescue a father of one of the children was shot and injured.. The alleged burning of a non-operational primary school building being used by military at Nchum (Mezam division) in NW region was reported. Another similar incident of military use and damage of non-operational school buildings was reported in Bafut (Mezam division) in the NW.

Education cluster partners supported 4,165 children (1,636 boys and 2,529 girls) in continuing access to learning activities amidst ongoing conflict and COVID-19 through distance learning modalities and provision of psychosocial support. This includes 1,050 new children (482 boys and 568 girls) accessing education through distance learning modalities of e-learning and radio education in both regions as well as 2,097 children (914 boys and 1,183 girls) receiving psychosocial support to continue their learning.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
Food/cash assistance

Humanitarian Response: Food Security

In September, 221,500 individuals in the NWSW regions were provided with lifesaving food assistance by WFP achieving 88.6 percent of its monthly target. WFP scaled up its operations through CBT (Cash Based Transfer) to assist 35,878 persons economically impacted by COVID-19 in the NWSW regions. A total of 32,202 persons received monthly cash transfers of 5,000 Francs CFA.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
health

Humanitarian Response: Health

Cholera continued to spread across the health districts of the SW region. The Buea health district was the fifth health district to report a cholera outbreak in the SW region since the outbreak started in the Bakassi health district in November 2019. A total of ten cases with one death were reported in two health areas (Muea and Buea road) in Buea health district giving a case fatality rate of 10 percent. Response activities coordinated by the health district and health cluster rapidly stopped the outbreak from spreading to other health areas.

COVID-19 continued to spread across the NWSW regions. The number of affected health districts increased by two, with 30 health districts out of 37 reporting cases by September. A general drop in the positivity rate of tests conducted and hospitalization rate due to COVID-19 has been observed in both regions. Sustained efforts have led to a marked increase in the number of people who accept to get tested for COVID-19 in these regions. However, a relaxation in the implementation of preventive measures such as the use of face mask in public spaces and physical distancing is still noted in both regions.

Health cluster partners were able to provide life-saving essential health services in Fako, Meme, Ndian, Kupe-Muanenguba, Manyu, Mezam, Boyo, Ngoketunjia, Bui, and Momo divisions. WHO through its implementing partners (REACH OUT, CARITAS and DEMTOU humanitarian) and UNICEF through its partners (CARITAS and Cameroon Baptist Health Services) provided essential health care services to 8,694 people during September, compared to 10,249 in August 2020. The number of children receiving routine vaccines decreased from 13,668 in August 2020 to 8,095 in September. Both decreases were caused by the numerous lockdowns and ghost towns in September.

The mobile clinics operated by the implementing partners of WHO have been the main source of health care in most hard to reach areas in the ten divisions where they have been operating in the past six months. With the exhaustion of the CERF funds in September, a good proportion of these communities will have little or no access to health care in the coming months despite the continuing health needs in these regions.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
nutrition

Humanitarian Response: Nutrition

A total of 37,632 children (16,552 in the NW and 21,080 in the SW) were screened for acute malnutrition in September 2020. 96 children (0.3 percent) were identified with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 1,006 (3.0 percent) with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). Children identified with SAM were referred for appropriate lifesaving treatment. As in previous months, the NW region continued to register higher cases of SAM compared to the SW region. Cumulatively, 730 SAM cases have been identified in 2020 (457 in the NW and 273 in the SW).

COVID-19 prevention measures (including programmatic adaptations) were undertaken by partners to mitigate the spread of the disease. 28,093 persons (9,496 males and 18,597 females) were sensitized on key messages on infant and young child feeding practices integrating COVID-19 specific messages. COVID-19 modules (specific on nutrition) were integrated in the SAM management and training on Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programmes (BSFP) conducted in Mutengene (Fako Division) with 40 health workers participating. Additionally, 2,378 caregivers were trained to detect and refer children suffering from SAM to treatment services. Community health workers were provided with sanitizers and necessary protective equipment necessary for their activities. Discussions with the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) on the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) 2021 process started and the SAG will be the technical group leading the process in the cluster engaging all cluster partners. Despite the scaling up of nutrition response in the NWSW regions, movement restriction/lockdowns imposed during the month slowed down the implementation of planned nutrition activities, leading to the low coverage.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
protection

Humanitarian Response: Protection

During September, the general security situation in the NWSW regions remained volatile and was marked by armed confrontations, military raids, restrictions on movement (lockdowns) and mass arrests which caused displacement of civilian populations. Several lockdown periods were observed which grounded humanitarian activities and several serious attacks against civilians were reported. It had been anticipated that there would be an increase in the number of security incidents with the upcoming self-declared Ambazonia Independence Dayon 1 October.

All 13 divisions in the NWSW regions were covered by protection monitoring activities carried out by UNHCR, INTERSOS, IRC and DRC. During September, 737 incident reports were collected by protection actors relating to protection incidents that have taken place since the beginning of the crisis. 20 protection assessments were carried out in the Meme, Manyu, Fako, Mezam, Momo divisions by protection actors. IDPs in these communities specified that insecurity, fear of attacks, arbitrary detention as well as SGBV were their main protection concerns. Awareness raising messages during the month focused on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), available protection services and the prevention of COVID-19. Sensitization messages reached 2,420 persons (228 boys, 478 girls, 747 men and 967 women). 90 community members (52 men and 38 women) were trained on protection work in their respective areas by INTERSOS. A total of 1,875 persons including 374 girls, 398 boys, 835 women and 268 men were reached during awareness activities by IRC on SGBV.

Thirty Eight calls were received by the UNHCR hotline management centre and 58 percent of the calls reported protection incidents, with 14 percent being SGBV related issues. The hotline also serves as a feedback mechanism on UNHCR services provided to the communities.

IRC established 27 civil status documents for 17 boys, three girls, five men and two women in Fako, Meme and Ndian divisions in the SW. 113 IDPs in need of documentation in the 13 divisions were recorded and referred to the legal partner Libra Law Firm for assistance. 49 vulnerable IDPs, including 4 boys, 9 girls, 20 men and 16 women, received blankets, clothes, shoes, soap and face masks in the same division. IRC supported 192 SGBV survivors with psychological assistance and also made four referrals for legal assistance. 64 SGBV survivors received health services and 62 received support in 72 hours from IRC. A total of 195 vulnerable women were assisted with protection assistance by INTERSOS during the month. 18 SGBV case files were opened and are under management; 39 women received psychosocial support; 44 women were referred for medical care and received cash assistance and livelihood assistance; 75 women and girls of reproductive age received dignity kits; and 18 lactating mothers were assisted with mama kits by INTERSOS.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
protection (1)

Humanitarian Response: Child Protection Area of Responsibility

According to the most recent MSNA (Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessment) conducted in the NWSW regions in August 2020, there are more than 16,000 separated children and 5,800 unaccompanied children, who were separated from their families due to the intensifying security situation and the COVID-19 pandemic during the last few months. AoR partners reached 869 children and caregivers with case management support services and alternative care arrangements, with 26 children reunified with their families.

In September 3,513 children and caregivers were reached with Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) which is a 30 percent reduction from August due to lack of funding. Child Protection actors reiterate the importance and urgency of more funds to expand their reach and provide a better-quality PSS intervention. Child Protection actors managed to reach 13,325 children and caregivers during the reporting period with protection and COVID-19 related sensitisation activities.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
GBV

Humanitarian Response: GBV Area of Responsibility

The number of reported Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases is still increasing with 676 cases reported in September compared to 567 cases the previous month. Sexual violence represents 39 percent of reported cases while survivors’ access to multi sector response remains a challenge. 64 percent of survivors of GBV incidents are women while 10 percent of survivors have disabilities, and 33 percent are children. Survivors received various services including psychosocial support (48 percent), health (40 percent), livelihood services (32 percent) and legal assistance (4 percent). There is a critical need to scale up lifesaving GBV services and advocate for access to affected communities in hard to reach areas.

A total of 52,978 people were reached by GBV prevention and response interventions in September including: GBV and COVID-19 awareness raising and information on available services (44,254); women and girl safe space activities (1,805), psychosocial support and psychological first aid (PFA) (2,233); men and boys engagement activities (777); youth and adolescent program (68); life skill development for women (268); and capacity building for community members, frontline workers on GBV concepts (665). In addition, 1,596 women and 764 girls were supported with dignity kits by IRC in the SW. A further 597 dignity kits were distributed by other partners including WASH.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
shelter NFI

Humanitarian Response: Shelter/NFI

In the SW, NRC distributed 200 NFI kits in the Limbe III subdivision (Fako division) reaching 939 individuals (454 females, 485 males). UNHCR through its partner Plan International assisted 4,557 households in Meme and Fako divisions, mostly reaching families in dire need of assistance in hard to reach localities such as Kwakwa, Nakeh, Bole, Ngongoh, Mabonji. 1,595 households received core relief items while 2,088 were assisted with emergency shelter. 874 households were assisted with shelter material as their houses had been partly damaged as a result of the crisis. 48 households were also reached with light shelter kits in the locality of Ejupindi (Konye subdivision) as IOM and partner SHUMAS carried out distributions in the area.

In the NW, UNHCR and partners assisted some 716 households with shelter and core relief items in Mezam division. 360 households received core relief items and 356 were assisted with shelter kits. 12 households were assisted with shelter kits in Jakiri (Bui division) in a distribution exercise carried out by IOM.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Trends
WASH (1)

Humanitarian Response: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Despite numerous lockdowns impacting on delivery during September, 28,800 individuals received WASH services including COVID-19 prevention interventions implemented by seven WASH partners in the NWSW regions. WASH partner EPDA constructed 42 emergency latrines to be used by at least 8,300 people in Idabato, Kombo Itindi and Limbe 3 sub-divisions of Ndian and Fako divisions in the SW. 39 Community Health Workers and Hygiene Promoters/Volunteers were trained in Fako, Meme, Mezam and Momo divisions while 36 water user committee trainings were conducted in Buea, Fako division.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Coordination

Humanitarian Coordination

OCHA continued to advocate in September for effective and principled humanitarian action through regular meetings of the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG), Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF), Access Working Group and Information Management Working Group. OCHA chaired Area Rapid Response Model (ARRM) activation meetings and assessment missions for Nguti in the SW region and Belo in the NW region.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Emergency Response
photo
COVID-19 mass screening team at Marche A, Bafoussam, West region of Cameroon. Credit: OCHA

COVID-19 Situation report - It covers the period from 16 to 30 October 2020

HIGHLIGHTS  

  • Since September, the average number of weekly positive cases has decreased from 510 in July/August to 260 by 30 October.

  • As of 21 October, 21,793 COVID-19 cumulative cases have been reported by the Ministry of Health, including 20,333 recoveries and 426 deaths. Cameroon becomes the eleventh country with the highest number of confirmed cases in Africa.

  • The Center region remains the epicenter of the pandemic in Cameroon with a total number of 10,607 positive cases as of 21 October 2020, followed by the Littoral region (5,136 cases).

  • The COVID-19 seroprevalence surveys were launched on 15 October 2020 by the Minister of Health. The surveys will be conducted from October to December 2020.

  • 21,7K COVID-19 cases

  • 571 Active cases

  • 596,3K Samples tested for COVID-19 (TDR+PCR)

  • 2% Fatality rate

SITUATION OVERVIEW 

Between 15 and 29 October, 363 new COVID-19 cases were registered in various health facilities, bringing the cumulative number of positive cases to 21,793, including 20,333 recoveries and 426 deaths. According to the Center for the Coordination of Public Health Emergency Operations, the average number of cases has decreased from 510 per week in July/August to the current average of 260 confirmed cases per week since September. Cameroon ranks now as the eleventh country in Africa with the highest number of confirmed cases after South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana, Libya, Kenya and Tunisia. Less than three weeks ago, Cameroon was the ninth most affected country regarding total number of positive cases.

The Center region remains the epicenter of the pandemic in Cameroon with a total number of 10,607 positive cases as of 21 October 2020, followed by the Littoral region (5,136 positive cases), including over 195 new cases since 30 September 2020. No new cases of contamination have been recorded among health workers and pregnant women from 1 to 14 October. Regrettably, fourteen new positives cases among health staff arose within the week from 15 to 29 October, in the Littoral, South and East regions bringing the cumulative number of positive cases among health personnel to 877, with no new death. Strategies to roll back the spread of the virus in sensitive places, such as hospitals or maternity wards shall be sustained. Contrary to the seemingly descending epidemiological curve observed in other regions, the number of positive cases is increasing in the Far-North region with 608 positive cases, including twelve deaths, as of 21 October 2020. This worrying situation calls health actors to increase vigilance and monitoring of the epidemiologic in the coming weeks. On 15 October 2020, the Minister of Health launched the COVID-19 seroprevalence surveys. These surveys will be conducted from October to December 2020 in the ten regions of the country with the support of partner health NGOs, WHO and UNICEF. The objective of the surveys is to estimate the prevalence of the virus’ antibodies in adults and children older than five years. It will also determine the risk factors by comparing exposure and assessing knowledge and attitudes related to COVID-19. These surveys will take place in public places (bus stations, markets, places of large gatherings, etc.).

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Visual

Inter-Agency Response Plan/Cameroon HRP COVID 2020

Cameroon HRP COVID 2020

US$ 81.7 million requested US$ 47.9 million funded /All humanitarian partners, including donors and recipient agencies, are encouraged to inform OCHA's Financial Tracking Service (FTS - http://fts.unocha.org) of cash and in-kind contributions by e-mailing: fts@un.org

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Infection, prevention and control

Needs:

  • The creation of a database of COVID-19 resources in regional delegations of public health.

Response:

  • On 8 October, OCHA launched a “5W COVID-19 Cameroon survey” to map out COVID-19 actors in Cameroon. The objective of the survey is to collect information from UN agencies, national and international NGOs on “who does what, where, when and with what resources” in COVID-19 through an online questionnaire.

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies supported the distribution of WASH kits on 15 October to nearly 500 rural women in Lolo and Mbilé (East region).

Gaps and constraints:

  • Mistrust due to misinformation and rumors represents a hindrance to the administration of the COVID-19 seroprevalence national surveys which require massive and essentially voluntary participation.

  • Some COVID-19 laboratories among the fifteen in the country do not channel the results of the samples they analyze daily.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)

Needs:

  • Propose strategic communication activities to tackle misinformation and rumors about a COVID-19 vaccine being administered to children and girls without parents’ prior consent.

Response:

  • The Cameroon Red Cross inaugurated the national psychological assistance service of the Cameroon Red Cross on 13 October 2020, in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The 1511 call center is a free national line available seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day and operational across the country in different languages. It is dedicated to the psychological assistance of people who experienced some COVID-19 related trauma.

  • The Minister of Health and RCCE partners held a coordination meeting of the national task force on communication and social mobilization for health on 16 October to discuss concrete actions to address misinformation about vaccination campaigns being associated with a potential COVID-19 vaccine administered on children and girls without parents’ prior consent. These vaccination campaigns included the second round of Local Immunization Days-LIDs from 9 to 11 October to respond to circulating poliovirus, type 2 and the introduction of the human papillomavirus (HPV) cervical cancer vaccine in the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) on 12 October 2020.

  • RCCE actors sustained awareness campaigns targeting teachers, students, and parents for a back-to-school season without COVID-19 through all the community radio stations in the East region. From 14 to 21 October 2020, key messages reached 7,568 people.

  • The Deutsche Gesellschaft (GIZ) funded ten community radio stations in the West region to translate and broadcast awareness messages and spots in both official languages and in the seven main locally spoken languages for a two-month period.

Gaps and constraints:

  • The need to scale up data channel among RCCE partners to achieve nation-wide updated figures of sensitization activities.

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Points of Entry (POE); Operational Support and Logistics

At country-level, 1,545 people out of 6,826 passengers from sea, air and land transport means were screened with rapid diagnostic tests at POE by health sector partners between 14 to 21 October 2020, with zero positive cases.

The number of screenings at entry points tends to decrease compared to the number of disembarked passengers. This might result from the PCR negative test requested by the Civil Aviation Authority, to be presented before any flight to Cameroon. Prime example is the screening at the Nsimalen airport (Center region) from 8 to 14 October 2020. Among 1,362 disembarked passengers, only thirteen were screened and none of them tested positive. The other travelers had valid and updated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negative tests certificates and therefore were not tested.

Response:  

  • A meeting between Cameroon and Central African Republic border’s authorities will be organized by IOM to officially launch the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the COVID-19 context in accordance with the International Health Regulations in the East region. These SOPs regarding protocols for the screening of COVID-19 cases were designed to apply to all points of entry (POE) in Cameroon, not only those in the East region.

  • The Ministry of Health started the training of forty eight entry point staff on SOPs for the screening of COVID-19 cases at POE in Mbalmayo (Center region).

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Cameroon

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Socio-economic and humanitarian support

Needs:

  • Financial support to the Government to boost post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

Response:

  • On 21 October 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the disbursement of eighty seven billion Francs CFA to support Cameroon in mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19. These funds are intended to assist Cameroon in containing the spread of COVID-19, boosting health services and social protection, and providing temporary support to affected businesses and households.

  • The IFAD President and the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development of Cameroon met virtually on 25 September 2020 to sign the financing agreement for the second phase of the Commodity Value Chain Development Support Project (PADFA II) worth USD 59.9 million. The agreement was announced on 18 October 2020. It will address the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small-scale producers. It targets 111 farmers’ cooperatives to boost their production and productivity, develop improved seeds programme and facilitate their access to rural finance and markets where they can sell their products.

Gaps and constraints:

  • Transparent management of financial support to the Government to recover from the COVID-19 economic hardship might be required.

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