Japan has approved the disbursement of CFA1.3 billion to support the reconstruction of the Southwest region. The financing deal was signed with the United Nations Development Program, as part of the second phase of the reconstruction plan.
This second phase, which is scheduled to last a year (March 2023 to February 2024), will rehabilitate 9 additional integrated health centers (IHCs) and 17 solar-powered water points in the crisis-ridden region. Phase 1 rehabilitated 9 health centers and 11 water points mainly in the Fako department, "improving access to basic services for more than 300,000 people," we learned. The project directly targets 300,000 people and more than one million people will indirectly benefit from it. It aims to "strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations in the Southwest and accelerate recovery through the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure to promote the delivery of basic health, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.
The Anglophone conflict in the southwest and northwest has resulted in a large number of attacks on health services, with health workers and patients threatened, abducted, injured, or killed, and health facilities damaged or destroyed. Many water facilities were also targeted by armed separatist groups. "The urgent restoration of basic social services through the rehabilitation of health centers and water points is essential for the good health of the population, to promote human security, and to spur economic recovery. Our role, together with Japan, is to act to improve the situation," said UNDP's acting resident representative in Cameroon, Alassane Ba, at the signing of the funding agreement on March 10 in Yaoundé.
This is the second contribution of the Japanese government, after the CFA1.5 billion granted on February 18, 2021. It aligns with the Presidential Plan for Reconstruction and Development (PPRD) in the Northwest and Southwest regions, which is being carried out on the ground by the UNDP.