ACOHOF IDP Care Initiative

Since the end of 2016, the English-speaking regions of Cameroon have witnessed tremendous violence and unrest in what is today known as the Anglophone Crisis. This conflict has placed Cameroon at war with socio-economic and psychological challenges, leading to several thousands of Anglophone Cameroonians becoming refugees in neighboring countries or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in safer towns within the country. Moreover, it has caused untold suffering to populations of the two English regions, resulting in a spill-over effect to other regions, especially the West, Center, and Littoral regions, becoming the new Eldorado of victims of the crossfire.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated 437,000 IDPs in Cameroon. Amongst these figures are 246,000 Cameroonians in the Southwest Region, 105,000 in the Northwest Region, 86,000 in the Littoral and 35,000 in the West Region.  In a report on the Crisis in the North West and South West, the OCHA, under a section dedicated to the Humanitarian Need and Response, argue that the majority of the IDPs in Cameroon are women and children, and the Humanitarian response provided so far does not meet their identified needs.

An assessment carried out by different stakeholders have identified needs across sectors, with the most acute being in protection, Food security and Shelter. It can, however, be noted that the situation has evolved over the years, mindful of the Situation report update of the OCHA of March 2021. Notwithstanding, much still needs to be done to rescue the victims of this Crisis in providing basic needs, especially during this challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACOHOF IDP Care Initiative is keen on the unceasing devastating impact of this crisis on internally displaced people. It has a mission to assist, equip, empower and holistically transform the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people badly affected and displaced from their various homes and communities in Cameroon's NW and SW regions. Our objective is to initiate programs that will provide vocational education services, housing and other emergency provisions to alleviate the burden and trauma of dislocation suffered by the displaced population.

Having shut down our base in Tatum, Bui Division, where our head office and ACOHOF FFS was located, we relaunched last year in Bankim, Adamawa Region of Cameroon. Here, we discovered many internally displaced people from our community had settled in camps and others in temporary accommodations. They have been tramping to our Liason Office in this region seeking information, available training opportunities and various kinds of assistance. 

Worthy of mention is that these IDPs who flee the killings to safety zones encounter so many challenges. They remain vulnerable in their new settlements due to a lack of sustenance, housing, employment opportunities, proper healthcare and security. They remain subject to all forms of abuse. They remain targets of the warring factions and are always trapped in the constant crossfire of the belligerents.  

The effects of this displacement and the trauma suffered by all who experience it, children mainly, put them in very hostile situations amidst the deadly covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, countless IDPs do not have access to education since 2016 and are more vulnerable to the global Covid-19 pandemic.