US Support Vital As Vulnerable Communities In Cameroon Brace For Harsh Lean Season

Published on 22 April 2016

YAOUNDE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of nearly 15,000 metric tons of food, worth US$21 million or CFA 12 billion, from USAID’s Food for Peace Program to Cameroon. This food will bring vital support to 300,000 people−refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and vulnerable food insecure populations−over the next three months, just when they need it most, at the onset of the lean season.

“This much-needed food−rice, split peas, vegetable oil and super cereals−comes at a critical time as the Boko Haram crisis in the north and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) refugee crisis in the east have generated increased needs and disrupted people’s lives in already fragile areas. It will help people cope over the next three months when they are most vulnerable as the lean season gets underway, and food insecurity worsens,” said Felix B.F. Gomez, WFP Country Director in Cameroon.

In addition to some 260,000 refugees from C.A.R. who have been taking shelter for the past few years in Cameroon’s eastern regions, the Boko Haram violence continues to uproot families from their homes, disrupt the economy, agriculture and cross-border trade in the north of the country. More than 200,000 people–Nigerian refugees and Cameroonians–have been displaced due to the Boko Haram violence; in the worst-affected areas along the border with Nigeria, 1.4 million people face hunger.

“Without this support from our long-standing partner, USAID, we would not be able to continue providing the food and nutrition assistance that people need to survive. It’s an essential contribution to stave off hunger among those who need help most over the next months, but we are concerned that without additional international support, WFP will not be able to maintain its assistance as of June/July to the refugee and IDP populations,” said Gomez.

USAID is the largest single donor to WFP’s emergency programmes in Cameroon, covering up to 25 percent of the food assistance costs in 2016, and has been one of WFP’s key supporters over the years.

While this substantial contribution enables WFP to continue its support for another three months, an additional US$36 million is needed to sustain assistance to vulnerable communities until the end of the year.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Sofia Engdahl, WFP/Cameroon, Mob: (+237) 690308963