More than 3 million people in Cameroon are currently suffering a food crisis with about 335,000 of them in food emergency, data from the Ministry of Agriculture showed. Displacements due to the current social unrest, the bleak global environment, and the effects of climate change are the main factors responsible for this situation.
The Agriculture Department said pressure mainly comes from “displaced populations in the departments of the Far North, the East, Adamaoua, Littoral and West regions". The unrest is particularly hot in the Northwest and Southwest regions with the separatist crisis and the Far North with attacks from the Nigerian rebel group Boko Haram.
"Imagine there are normally 8 people in a family and because of displacements that family has to take in 5-8 more members, clearly there will no longer be enough food for everyone. That is the first problem. There is additional pressure on the host communities because those who move do not do so with their fields or livelihoods. They leave everything behind,” explains Maïna Hamadou, coordinator of the National Program for Monitoring and Strengthening Food Security.
Regarding the international economic situation, the Ministry of Agriculture mentioned the surge in fuel prices which led to an increase in the prices of foodstuff and agricultural inputs. The third factor includes flooding, bad agricultural practices, and army worm attacks in the Far North as well as damages caused by elephants in the departments of Mayo Kani and Mayo Danay.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture's Harmonized Framework reveal that the current crisis is the most severe since 2020 when the number of food-vulnerable people was estimated at 2.6 million. The number was 26.6 million in 2021, 2.8 million in 2022, and over 3 million in March 2023.
Translated from French by Firmine AIZAN
Written by L.A.