Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Cameroon

Map of Cameroon

June 18, 2019

Protracted crises in neighboring Nigeria and the Central African Republic, as well as civil unrest and violence in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions, are driving population displacement and exacerbating humanitarian needs in Cameroon.  Overall, 4.3 million people in the country require emergency assistance, a 30 percent increase from 2018, according to Cameroon’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan.    

Situation 

  • As of May, about 285,000 Central African refugees sheltered in Cameroon, largely in eastern Cameroon’s Adamaoua and East regions. Additionally, the insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin had driven nearly 103,000 Nigerian refugees into Far North Region, where 263,000 internally displaced Cameroonians also resided, the UN reports.
  • Approximately 530,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were also living in western Cameroon—mainly within the conflict-affected Northwest and Southwest regions—as of May, according to the UN.
  • A recent Cadre Harmonisé (CH) report indicates that nearly 1.1 million people in Cameroon will face Crisis (Phase 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity and require urgent food assistance from June–August 2019.* This figure represents a 121 percent increase compared to previous CH analyses which covered about the same period in 2018.
  • Similarly, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) projects that displaced and poor host community households in Northwest and Southwest will likely face Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity through January 2020 as conflict disrupts markets, hinders livelihoods activities, and restricts access to fields. FEWS NET also expects vulnerable families in Far North to experience Stressed (IPC 2) outcomes during the same period due to the seasonal depletion of food stocks and continued Boko Haram attacks, which undermine livelihoods and result in the theft and destruction of personal property.  

* The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5). The CH, a similar tool used only in West Africa, has a separate scale ranging from Minimal (Phase 1) to Famine (IPC 5).

Response 

  • USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide cash-based transfers and in-kind emergency food assistance to vulnerable IDPs, host community members, and Nigerian and Central African refugees residing in Adamaoua, East, and Far North. FFP also enables WFP to furnish ready-to-eat High Energy Biscuits to newly arrived Nigerian refugees, deliver supplemental food rations to people affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and conduct activities in which participants receive cash transfers in exchange for their work creating or repairing community assets like irrigation systems.
  • To assist conflict-affected populations in western Cameroon, FFP recently contributed $2.5 million to WFP to facilitate the distribution of in-kind food rations to 125,000 IDPs and host community members in Northwest and Southwest.  FFP also jointly supports a non-governmental organization with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to provide emergency food vouchers and essential relief commodities to 24,000 vulnerable people in Northwest.

Food for Peace Contributions

Total Contributions:

  U.S. Dollars Metric Tons
Fiscal Year 2019 $21.8 million 17,996 MT
Fiscal Year 2018 $20.4 million 11,781 MT
Fiscal Year 2017 $33.7 million 23,505 MT

* Metric tonnage does not reflect funding for vouchers or cash transfers. 

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Last updated: June 19, 2019

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