The United Nations said it will mobilize additional funds to help Cameroon assist Central African refugees. The good news was reported on February 4th by Matthias Z. Naab, UN Resident Coordinator for Cameroon, during a camp visit in Garoua-Boulai.
The extra resources will be mobilized from donors and partners and the UN will set up innovative approaches based on the link between humanitarian, development, and peace to achieve this goal, Mr. Naab said.
Thousands of Central Africans come to the Gado-Badzere camp every day as violence is escalating in their country. More than 5,000 new refugees came last month, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UN agency said additional resources would be needed to assist the new arrivals, at a time when all UN agencies are facing a lack of funding and depletion of resources due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meeting refugees’ most basic daily needs, such as food, water, shelter, or health care is a real struggle. Refugees suffer from high levels of chronic malnutrition. According to the World Food Program (WFP), $1.6 million is needed to feed the more than 30,000 refugees in the Gado-Badzere camp. The money should make it possible to “feed all the beneficiaries who are here for six months," according to Wanja Kaaria-Ndoho, the WFP country representative.
With the drop in funding due to the pandemic, WFP has been forced to halve food transfers to the refugees in the camp. The UN agency fears that this reduction in rations may encourage refugees to move within host countries as it is becoming more and more difficult to survive.
For now, Matthias Z. Naab hails the Cameroonian government and other humanitarian actors’ efforts in assisting nearly a half million refugees under the international humanitarian rights.