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Sida's work in Cameroon

Crises and refugee flows are having a severe impact on Cameroon. Sida’s emergency humanitarian work in Cameroon and the countries around Lake Chad is focusing on saving lives, sheltering the population and increasing access to food.

The humanitarian situation in Cameroon

Cameroon is affected by several crises simultaneously. Around one million Cameroonians have been forced to leave their homes due to violence in the Lake Chad region and in the country’s English-speaking north-west and south-west. Cameroon has more than 330,000 refugees from the Central African Republic and nearly 120,000 from Nigeria. A large part of the population are at risk and 44 % are considered poor. The number of children suffering from severe malnutrition has increased over the past year. As a result of the conflict in the English-speaking parts of the country, more than 700,000 children there have not attended school for many years. Around 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022.1

Climate change increases the vulnerability of the population in the northern parts of the country. Dry spells have become longer and rainy spells more intense. Lake Chad, its catchment areas and the tropical rainforest in the south are heavily affected by environmental degradation and overuse of water and forests.2

Cameroon’s infrastructure, including social services, is inadequate. Insecurity, poor infrastructure and high levels of corruption3 hamper humanitarian work.

How Sida supports Cameroon

Sida’s focus is on life-saving intervention and protection for the most vulnerable people in the conflict zone.

Life-saving assistance in remote areas

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) saves lives and provides protection to people in the most vulnerable areas. This includes cash assistance or seeds to boost income. Providing people with access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation is also included. Priority is given to women who have been victims of gender-based violence.

IRC’s website

Helping refugees

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) protects Nigerian refugees within the country (internally displaced persons), refugees from Nigeria and those people who have been able to return home. The focus is on providing water, hygiene and sanitation, food, livelihoods and education.

NRC’s website

Supporting women and children

Sida supports the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children, which focuses on humanitarian support for women and children in crisis-affected areas. The support is used, among other things, to reduce child malnutrition, improve access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and protect children, including victims of gender-based violence.

Humanitarian Action for Children in Cameroon on the UNICEF website

Support for refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is working on assistance related to refugee flows from the Central African Republic and Nigeria, as well as to internally displaced persons and returnees. Protection, especially of children, is a high priority, as is the prevention of gender-based violence and the provision of support to survivors. Education and strengthening social cohesion are other elements of the work.

About Cameroon on the UNHCR website

Sida's crisis analysis and scope of the support

In 2021, Sida’s humanitarian aid to Cameroon was SEK 91.7 million. The aid is based on an annual crisis analysis.

Updated: October 5, 2022