Thousands of children affected by the armed conflict in the North West and south West regions likewise those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern regions of Cameroon are at risk because of substantial shortages in UNICEF funding for lifesaving humanitarian programmes.
According to the October 2020 Cameroon UNICEF Humanitarian report, the international NGO was appealing for over US$ 45,445,000 in support of lifesaving and protection-based response for children and women but as at October 31st, UNICEF had received just US$ 5,540,133 against this humanitarian requirement.
“The 80% shortfall continues to seriously limit program response; lack of funding is requiring ‘double-hatting’ of several cluster coordination positions and a shift to increasing use of UN Volunteers in place of staff positions” a portion of the report reads.
In May, UNICEF issued a ‘Donor Alert’ to foreign embassies in Yaounde, Cameroon and donor representatives highlighting critical life-saving and protection-based activities to be implemented from May to September for which $10,608,000 was urgently required for displaced, refugee and returnee and host community children.
This underfunding has resulted to vital activities including measles vaccination, access to lifesaving essential drugs, support for safe water and sanitation and mental health and psychosocial services to be curtailed.
Though limited by the necessary financial resources and stakeholder support, UNICEF has been resilient in her humanitarian strides in Cameroon. The humanitarian outfit has recorded some milestones in rendering support to vulnerable children population hit by diverse crises in the country.