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Cameroon: Humanitarian partners continue COVID-19 response in the north-west and south-west

19 May 2020

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Two internally displaced children living in a dilapidated house in a former plantation complex in Buea District, south-west Cameroon, May 2019. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

Humanitarian partners are providing health, water and sanitation hygiene support, including mobile clinics, disease screening and COVID-19 sensitization, to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the north-west and south-west regions.

There are more 450,000 IDPs in the two regions due to a sociopolitical crisis that is now entering its fourth year. 

Government and humanitarian partners are also providing distance learning to more than half of the children affected by school closures in both regions through radio, TV and printed materials.

More than 6,370 schools and 4,200 community learning centres in the north-west and south-west have been closed since March to contain the spread of the virus. Authorities have announced the potential reopening of schools in June.

Food distributions to displaced people are also expected to increase following the development of revised guidelines and risk mitigation measures by the food security cluster and supporting partners in the face of the pandemic. In April , COVID-19-related restrictions meant that food assistance reached only 10 per cent of beneficiaries, leaving more than 150,000 people without support. 

More than 1.4 million people in the north-west and south-west regions are food insecure, with numbers gradually increasing every month.

The Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon has also met with the Secretary General of the South West Region Governor’s Office to improve collaboration and coordination with the Government’s Humanitarian Coordination Centres. This is also aimed at strengthening transparency among humanitarian partners, including in support of the COVID-19 response.

Besides the IDPs in the north-west and the south-west, Cameroon also has 200,000 IDPs in other parts of the country. Some 58,000 Cameroonians are refugees in Nigeria.