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More than 437,000 persons displaced in Cameroon crisis, says UN
The United Nations has reported that the number of Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria has spiked to more than 437,000 over the past months.
And many have resorted to living in bushes and makeshift shelters with no support since October 1, 2017, when a crisis erupted between the Anglophone and Francophone Cameroon after the formal declaration of independence
David Manan, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Cameroon in a statement said that the situation is worrisome and called on the government and all parties involved to assist the displaced person by ensuring that the living conditions are improved.
“We are deeply worried by the ongoing conflict and the increasing displacement figures. Parties to the conflict must ensure that civilians in the area are protected and are able to safely access life-saving assistance,” Manan said.
The United Nations estimates that the number of people displaced from their homes in Cameroon’s Anglophone Southwest and Northwest region and in the neighbouring Littoral and West regions has reached 437,000.
Manna said that many people are without any support and lack basic sanitary facilities, clean water, food and access to medical care.
He said that insecurity in the affected areas has restricted aid agencies from venturing into these parts to offer the required assistance, adding that the agency does not have enough manpower to attend to the needs of every affected person.
“The needs we are witnessing in the Southwest and Northwest regions are alarming and there are too few agencies on the ground to provide the necessary aid due to limited funding.
“We call for more donors to prioritise this crisis to allow more agencies to respond so that we can stem the rising tide of suffering and displacement.
“Displaced families who receive our assistance have told us that they share it or give it to their relatives who did not yet receive any assistance and desperately need help.
“Many people are hiding in the bush with no support, fearing for their lives,” Manna said.
The NRC is distributing household items, shelter, and hygiene kits in Northwest and Southwest regions with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
Annoh, one of the refugees that fled home said that she would share whatever she gets from her husband who is hiding in the bushes as this is the first time she is receiving relief materials since 2017.
“He has nothing but the clothes he was wearing when he fled,” she said.