The United Nations Children’s Fund says it needs over FCFA 41 Billion (US$83.1 million) to meet the humanitarian needs of over 869,000 children and their families at risk of or affected by conflict, violence and disease in Cameroon.

According to the institution’s funding appeal brief for 2021, intensifying attacks on civilians in the Far North, the continuing North-West/South-West crisis and the uncertainty complicating refugee returns to the Central African Republic have worsened the humanitarian situation in Cameroon.

Due to the continuing violence in the crisis hit regions of the country, UNICEF says additional funding is needed to assist children and women, in line with the Humanitarian Response Plan and the UNICEF-UNHCR Blueprint Initiative.

This funding they say will enable the provision of critical vaccination, safe water supply, emergency education and child protection interventions adding that COVID-19 interventions have been integrated where appropriate.

While UNICEF has expressed gratitude for the “generosity of donors”, it regrets that Cameroon was among the least funded humanitarian appeals globally in 2020.

“Without sufficient and timely funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s continuing crises. Noting the increase in the number of people in need and related resource requirements in Cameroon since 2016, UNICEF will significantly scale up its targets, planned results and required resources” a section of the appeal brief reads.

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.

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.

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