More than 185,000 vulnerable persons living in crisis-hit regions in Cameroon will benefit from food and nutrition assistance worth 1.83 million USD (more than one billion FCFA) donated by the Government of Japan through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
This is thanks to a partnership agreement signed between the World Food Programme and the Government of Japan Monday October 19 in Yaounde.
The USD 1.83 million grant will help the WFP provide food items like rice, yellow split peas and super cereal plus amongst others, to 185,468 vulnerable persons in the Far North, North Adamawa, East, North West and South West regions of Cameroon.
The vulnerable persons, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities will include children below the age of five, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and people living with HIV.
“WFP is extremely grateful for the continued generosity of the people of Japan. As we move towards rolling out our 5-year strategic plan, partners like the Government of Japan are more than ever needed to ensure adequate provision of lifesaving and life-changing response in Cameroon.” Said Wanja Kaaria, Representative and Country Director of WFP Cameroon who signed the partnership agreement on behalf of the UN agency.
She told the press that from 2012 to date, the Government of Japan has donated about FCFA 8.5 million to help vulnerable populations in Cameroon.
Representing the Government of Japan at the signing ceremony, the Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E OSAWA Tsutomu said the grant is a confirmation of his country’s support to the urgent need of vulnerable persons in Cameroon.
“This contribution reaffirms the support and solidarity of the Japanese people towards the people in need residing in Cameroon, as well as the host communities. Concerned about the situation of the most vulnerable, which is aggravated by COVID-19, we decided to extend our assistance through WFP to address the urgent needs of these people. The peace and stability of Africa is one of the main fields of our cooperation. Japan renews its tireless commitments as it is approaching the eight meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) which will take place in 2022.” He said.
This donation is timely as 2021 statistics from the humanitarian Response Plan for Cameroon reveal that 4.4 million people are in need in the country. Some other 2.6 million are reported to be food insecure across 14 Divisions as at March 2021 according to Food Security Analysis.
As per the regions concerned by the grant, the situation on the ground warrants priority attention.
Starvation is predicted in the North West and South West regions plagued by a five-year socio-political crisis by January 2022. It is worth mentioning that the crisis has forced over one million people out of their homes, thereby affecting livelihoods.
In the Far North region, repeated attacks from the Boko Haram Islamic sect and constant flooding have deprived the people of their homes.
As for the North, Adamawa and East regions, kidnappings and the presence of refugees have contributed in reducing what was available for the population in the said regions.
In addition to these crises, Cameroon like many countries in the world has been grappling with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly affected the sources of livelihood for the most vulnerable at the country’s economy, thereby affecting the food security situation of the country.
This is thus another opportunity for the WFP, 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to pursue its missions of saving lives and restoring the hopes of those in need of food assistance.