The South-West region in Cameroon is currently the epicenter of the crisis as more than 90% of the 160,000 IDPs are located in this area: the Meme area is home to 135,000 IDPs, the Manyu area is home to 15,000 IDPs and the remaining 10,000 IDPs are displaced in the North-West region. At the same time, villagers of many townships in the Meme area have fled their homes to different parts of the region. A similar situation can be found in the North-West region, in particular in the Boyo area. Over the years, villages and townships have been inflicted significant material damage, as can been seen in Mbongue and Konye – both Meme area – as well as places in the Manyu area, such as Eyumodjok and Akwaya. Furthermore, destabilization and violence is likely to spread to other divisions in the South-West (Ndian, Lebialem and Fako) and North-West region (Boyo). Please take a closer look at the image for a detailed display of the situation and numbers.
As a result of the clashes between non-stated armed groups and security forces, the displaced population have been forced to move mostly into the surrounding forests and villages scattered over different areas in both regions. In fact, around 80% of the IDPs have found refuge in the woods and forest. In addition, both the South-West and North-West regions have experienced a deterioration of living conditions and a collapse of livelihoods as well as an increase of abuses towards the most vulnerable within the IDPs population. Due to the violence and the subsequent displacement of individuals, large segments of the population have been denied access to their fields and markets. For the majority of the victims who relied on agriculture or livestock as their main source of survival before the crisis, external assistance will be crucial and inevitable. Furthermore, the displacement of IDPs has caused a great increase in shelter and non-food items (NFI) needs. Many civilians fled in desperation and hurry, leaving everything behind in search of a new home, which in many cases is, an unknown location. CAMAAY is determined to help the victims of the conflict in terms of safety and shelter and will do so by implementing the following strategies:
- Identify affected individuals in need of shelter and non-food items and, consequently, facilitate help to these individuals and the host communities. This help entails safe shelter and household items which make it possible for the victims to live a dignified life under safe circumstances.
- Provide psychological support and promote resilience-building activities for the victims in order to prevent mental, psychological or other forms of traumatic harm that may be caused by the conflict.
- Advocate together with relevant stakeholders and partners for access to protection and to promote and strengthen accountability towards the affected population by relevant authorities. All this needs to be done in compliance with human rights and humanitarian principles.
- Improve the living conditions of IDPs and their host communities through the provision of construction materials, technical support, basic domestic items and non-food items.
- Stimulate, guide and empower the afflicted individuals to strengthen self-reliance and create community-based groups that will progressively meet their own needs and will be able to take care of themselves.
- Cooperate together with relevant stakeholders and partners to coordinate the legal documentation of the afflicted population. This will ensure that IDPs have access to personal documentation, which is usually required to access public services, to vote and for administrative purposes.
- Support planning by government authorities and stakeholders to enhance the process of return of internally displaced persons in Cameroon.
Overall, CAMAAY aims to fulfill its objective to ensure victims are in a safe and secure environment. That the IDP community will not suffer from attacks, harassment, intimidation, persecution or any other form of punitive action. That IDPs will have an adequate standard of living, meaning that they have access to basic shelter and housing, legal documentation, essential medical services (including ARV), sanitation, food and nutrition. And that in the end IDPs in Cameroon will be able to return safely to their original homes.