Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)3.70 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.3.80 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.3.40 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.10 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.
17/11/2020: Food security is at risk of further deterioration due to intensification of violence in the Far North and Northwest regions. The number of people in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher levels of food insecurity during Cameroon’s lean season (June-August) doubled from 2019 to 2020, mostly due to violence.?
29/10/2020: On 24 October, armed men attacked a private school in the city of Kumba (Southwest region), killing at least eight children aged between 12 and 14, and injuring a dozen more. The crisis in the Southwest and Northwest regions is affecting access to education, with attacks on education facilities and security threats to teachers and students. Over 80% of schools in these two regions are closed and 80% of children are out of school. The school year in Cameroon started on 5 October. Past trends indicate that attacks on schools, teachers and students increase the weeks before and after the start of the school year.?
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.
Humanitarian access in Cameroon has remained challenging, with the Government of Cameroon (GoC) systematically denying or downplaying the extent of humanitarian needs in the Northwest (NW) and Southwest (SW) regions. The weekly 'Ghost Town' days implemented by some separatist groups limits the movement of people in affected areas to access aid, and the movement of humanitarian workers. Humanitarian access is also impeded by the presence of both Cameroon security forces’ checkpoints and separatist groups’ checkpoints in the NW and SW. In the Far North, humanitarian organizations have been required to obtain time-consuming written authorizations from state governors for the implementation of humanitarian activities.
Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.
Boko Haram’s activity in the Lake Chad Basin was at its peak in 2014–2015 and declined afterwards.? Since 2019, an increase in violent events by Boko Haram and other armed groups, such as attacks, killings, and kidnappings, has been observed in the area, including in the Far North region of Cameroon.? A total of 28 violent events against civilians were reported in the Far North region in the second quarter of 2019, and have gradually increased – reaching a peak of 67 events in the first quarter of 2020.?The increased frequency of violent attacks targeting civilians and IDP populations is expected to continue. Between 1 August and 14 September 2020, three deadly attacks were carried out in different IDP camps or villages hosting IDPs. At least 32 people were killed and over 40 wounded.?In the first half of 2020, violent events triggered around 21,000 new displacements, especially in the Mayo-Sava department, which borders Nigeria.?
Over 4.7 million people live in the Far North region – 1.2 million of whom are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, especiallyhealthcare and mental health assistance.?As of 30 September 2020, over 114,000 refugees, almost 322,000 IDPs, and more than 123,000 returnees were hosted in the region.?This population is particularly in need of protection, and lacks access to health and nutrition assistance.?60% of the refugees and 64% of the IDPs and IDP returnees are minors.?Child protection and access to education are key priorities. Insecurity impacts livelihoods and increases the need for food assistance, especially for IDPs, refugees, and returnees. 690,000 people are estimated to be food insecure from April–December 2020, taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19.?
Combined factors contributing to the rise in violent attacks against civilians in the Far North region are the porous border between Nigeria and Cameroon, a lower presence of security forces in both the Far North region and the Nigerian northeast states where Boko Haram is based, and the decreased effectiveness of the Multinational Joint Task Force operations as a result of disjointed planning and funding issues?
The increase of violent events targeting civilian and displaced populations will lead to a surge in population movements, including secondary displacements, and an increase in the number of refugees and IDPs needing shelter, food, water, and non-food items (NFIs). Population movements will put additional pressure on already scarce natural and financial resources. As the majority of the displaced population are minors, child protection needs will intensify, with a particular focus on gender-based violence for girls and protection from forced recruitment for boys.? Violent attacks will also increase food insecurity and worsen malnutrition – because of the consequences of displacement on people’s livelihoods, access to land, and job opportunities.
Humanitarian access in the Far North region is already very limited. Insecurity and violence impact people’s freedom of movement, including humanitarian actors’.? The increase in violence by Boko Haram militants will worsen the situation, both in terms of humanitarian workers accessing the affected population and people in need accessing humanitarian aid. The population will likely be further isolated from services and assistance. Cameroon is experiencing an additional security crisis in the Southwest and Northwest anglophone regions, which limits the humanitarian and national response to the Boko Haram crisis.
Read the latest October Risk Analysis here
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
Insecurity continues to play a major role in information gaps recorded for needs assessment as sporadic attacks in the Northwest and Southwest continues.