Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)3.30 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.3.10 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.3.00 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.00 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Cameroon: COVID-19 outbreak
Cameroon: Escalation of the Anglophone crisis
Cameroon has been experiencing an interplay of protracted crisis situations which continues to define political, economic and social developments in the country. Longstanding grievances in the anglophone community in Northwest and Southwest regions due to marginalisation of the minority English-speaking regions by the francophone-dominated government escalated into widespread protests and strikes in late 2016.?This has resulted in the emergence of different separatist groups clamouring for the creation of a self-proclaimed Ambazonian Republic in the northwest and southwest. Clashes between the military and the separatist forces has intensified insecurity in the regions, leaving over 650,000 people internally displaced and about 60,000 people seeking refuge in Neighbouring Nigeria.?
Boko Haram's insurgency in Nigeria's northeast has also spilled over into Cameroon's Far North region, mainly due to the proximity and porosity of borders between the two countries. After Nigeria, Cameroon is the second most-affected country by the violence and insecurity linked to BH in Lake Chad basin.?The number of Nigerian refugees fleeing to Cameroon's far north has surpassed the 100,000 mark, while violence by Boko Haram has also internally displaced more than 290,000 people in the same area.?
Apart from the above, Cameroon is also host to over 290,000 refugees from CAR mainly due to conflict.? The CAR refugees are predominately located in the Est and Adamaoua regions.
31/03/2020: In response to UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire, the Southern Cameroon Defence Forces (SOCADEF) announced they would cease hostilities from 29 March. The biggest separatist armed group, Ambazonian Defence Forces (ADF), said they will not participate in the ceasefire because it would mean giving Cameroonian state forces access to their communities. The Cameroon government has not commented on the ceasefire.?
18/03/2020: On 17 March the Cameroonian government announced closure of land, sea and air borders with immediate effect and till further notice in attempt to contain Covid-19. The GoC also closed all public and private educational institutions at all levels and banned any gathering of more than 50 persons.? The 22 March scheduled rerun of parliamentary elections in 11 constituencies of the northwest and southwest is thus no longer feasible.?The closure of borders will prevent the population of the Anglophone region from seeking refuge in neighboring Nigeria. The planned voluntary repatriation of 700 refugees from Nigeria back to Cameroon will also not be able to go ahead.
ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to the outbreak in Cameroon, see our special report below.
Very high constraints
Access has deteriorated in Cameroon, particularly in the North-West and South-West regions where hostilities between Anglophone separatists and the government have heightened insecurities. The presence of both state security forces and non-state armed groups challenge the humanitarian space throughout these regions by imposing roadblocks, demanding exchanges for relief, and confiscating aid. Continued violence, poor roads, and lockdowns restrict the movement of people in the Anglophone regions. In the Far North, infrastructure is inadequate to ensure access to communities during the rainy season. Ongoing violence from Boko Haram poses threats to humanitarian workers and the population. Concern continues for the growing number of IDPs across the country, particularly those in the North-West and South-West regions, who struggle to access basic services.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
Protection: Top priority for affected populations is protection. Attacks by both Boko Haram, the separatists and Cameroonian armed forces are still ongoing in the far north, the northwest and southwest respectively.
Health: The intensification of the Anglophone crisis led to the closure of over 40% of the health centres. This intensifies deteriorating health conditions for the over 4 million people living in the English-speaking regions. Outbreaks of diseases such as cholera have already been recorded at the end of 2019.? Currently, there are 13 hospital beds per 10,000 population in the whole of Cameroon and existing health facilities complain of a lack of technical and medical personnel.?
Education: 85% of schools have been shut down and over 620,000 children have been forced out of school since both the Anglophone and Boko Haram crisis began. Students are forced to stay at home as their school buildings were either burnt or converted to separatists’ camps in the northwest and southwest. Forced school boycotts are also enforced by separatists in these areas, making education a priority need for affected populations.?
Information gaps and needs
Due to insecurity and limited number of humanitarian actors in the region, there are information gaps on population needs in some areas in the Far North near the Nigerian border.
Low international presence in Southwest and Northwest regions results in a lack of detailed information on the impact of the Anglophone crisis. ?