The crisis in English-speaking parts of Cameroon, which began with peaceful protests in late 2016, has escalated into a full-blown conflict with an estimated 1.3 million people in need of humanitarian aid. With a lack of funding and media attention, Cameroon tops the list of the world’s most neglected crises.
Present-day Cameroon has both French and English as official languages, but members of the English-speaking minority report increasing marginalization in recent years. Tensions between the two groups came to a head in late 2016 over the placement of French-speaking teachers in English-speaking regions of the country, prompting widespread violence across northwestern and southwestern Cameroon.
To date, the crisis has claimed more than 2,000 lives and fueled a large-scale displacement of more than 450,000 people. Sporadic fighting and insecurity continue to limit humanitarian organizations’ access and ability to deliver aid in these highly contentious areas.
The country is also afflicted by two additional crises: small-scale attacks led by armed groups in the Far North and a refugee crisis in the east, where roughly 250,000 people from the Central African Republic have sought protection.
With support from Latter-day Saint Charities, Relief International launched operations in 2019 in southwestern Cameroon, responding to the country’s unfolding Anglophone crisis. Our teams are working in partnership with local community health workers, nurses, and two government health facilities to deliver critical health services for an estimated population of 40,000 people in 26 villages across Muea and Tole, located in the Fako division. We also work with internally displaced persons, who have fled to the bush, where living conditions are poor and there is no access to sanitation facilities, health services, or safe drinking water.
Relief International is also working to improve sanitation and access to clean water in eight communities in Muea and Tole that host a large number of internally displaced persons. These activities include constructing 20 communal, semi-permanent latrines and 10 permanent latrines at the two supported government health facilities where we work. In addition, our teams are conducting awareness campaigns to alert vulnerable community members about hygiene best practices and additional services available to them through Relief International. We’ve also distributed non-food items and hygiene kits to 1,000 families who lost everything as a result of their displacement.
CAMEROON – South West, Fako Division, Muea and Tole
- Health and Nutrition
- Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene