WFP’s activities in Cameroon have three main components: supporting the basic education and enrolment of girls in school; promoting food security and rural development, mainly in the northern regions of the country; improving the nutritional status of the moderately acute malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women in the North region.
In 2012, WFP aimed to reach 612,000 people through the following activities: the emergency operation for drought-affected households and acute malnourished group in the Far North region, protracted relief and recovery operation for refugees and host population in the East and Adamaoua regions, and school meals.
In December 2011 the Government of Cameroon declared an emergency situation in the Far North region of the country due to a major drop in cereal production following poor rainfall, aggravating the already severe situation in the region which suffers from chronic food insecurity and structural poverty. In the Logone-and-Chari division, over 400,000 people are affected by the decrease in food production.
In response to a request for relief assistance by the government of Cameroon, WFP initiated an emergency operation aiming to: firstly, improve the food consumption of people affected by drought through general food distributions; secondly, reduce the prevalence of acute malnutrition among children 6-59 months of age and malnourished pregnant and lactating women through targeted supplementary feeding; thirdly, prevent acute malnutrition among chronic malnourished children 6-23 months of age and pregnant and nursing women through blanket supplementary feeding. The emergency operation aimed to reach 258,000 people.
The protracted relief and recovery operation aims to save lives and protect livelihoods of food-insecure Central African and Chadian refugees and restore and rebuild lives and livelihoods of Central African refugees and host populations. It targets more than 186,000 people through activities that aim to improve resilience of food-insecure refugees and local households, with an emphasis on environmental protection and rehabilitation activities to enhance sustainability. In the area of nutrition, the protracted relief and recovery operation aims to stabilize global acute malnutrition rate below 10 percent.
In this context, the strategy will continue addressing the immediate needs while also building the human and physical assets of host communities and refugees for long-term recovery. Monthly general food distributions are planned for 2,600 Chadian refugees in the North region and 40,700 Central African refugees in the East and Adamaoua regions. A supplementary feeding program is currently addressing the nutritional needs of children below five, pregnant and nursing mothers amongst Central African Refugees and host population.
During the 2011/2012 school year, WFP provided food assistance to over 25,000 students from 109 government primary schools in rural areas in Adamaoua, North and Far North regions. The students received daily hot meals for 165 school days, with a total of 914,438 metric tons of food. The food basket included rice, pulses, oil, iodized salt and maize. In addition, about 4,000 girls from these schools received family take-home rations in order to motivate their parents to keep sending their daughters to school.