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Libyan Newswire

FAO GIEWS Country Brief on Cameroon (04-November-2014)

Reference Date: 04-November-2014


  1. Erratic rainfall in southern parts during 2014 cropping season

  2. Inflation rates increased in 2014 due to higher fuel prices

  3. Dire humanitarian situation among refugees from Central African Republic and Nigeria and host communities

Erratic rainfall in southern parts

In several bi-modal rainfall areas of the Centre and South harvesting of the 2014 main season crops has been concluded in October, while planting of the second season maize crops has also been recently concluded.

Satellite-based analyses indicate that a prolonged dry spell in July had a negative impact on vegetation conditions and may have also affected crops. Average to above-average rainfall in August and September reduced moisture deficits but another dry spell in the first two dekads of October may have negatively impacted germination and establishment of second season crops, for harvest in December/January. Rainfall amounts and distribution in the coming weeks will be crucial for crop development and performance.

In northern uni-modal areas (North and Far North regions), where sorghum and millet crops are predominantly grown, harvesting is underway. Early season dryness in July may have delayed planting operations but subsequent adequate rainfall benefited crops and a satisfactory output is expected (see ASI map).

Inflation rates increased in 2014

According to the IMF, the average inflation rate, which was estimated at a low of 2 percent in 2013, increased to 3.2 percent in 2014, mainly due to an increase in fuel retail prices.

In the last several years, rates of inflation were highly volatile, varying from a low of 1 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2008 then declining to 3 percent and 1 percent in 2009. Rates rose again in 2011 to 3 percent, declining to 2.4 percent in 2012.

Dire humanitarian situation among refugees from Central African Republic and Nigeria and host communities

Cameroon is currently facing several food emergencies from the Sahel belt in the North where malnutrition, epidemics and food insecurity are a threat to thousands of Cameroonians, to the strain of hosting almost 300 000 refugees from both Central African Republic and Nigeria.

As of late October 2014, the number of refugees from Central African Republic (CAR) which sought refuge in Cameroon’s East, Adamaoua and North regions was estimated at about 133 000 after a surge in sectarian violence in December 2013. Taking into account the refugees who had entered the country in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits, the total number of refugees from CAR residing in Cameroon is currently estimated at about 241 000.

While the flow of new refugees has declined from its peak of around 5 000 per week in March-May 2014, new arrivals are still being registered on a daily basis. Refugees are arriving in dire conditions: many are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition. An estimated 34.4 percent of the refugee households from CAR are food insecure (30.1 percent being moderately food insecure and 4.3 percent severely food insecure). In addition, acute malnutrition rates among children and mothers are above the emergency threshold with up to 30 percent of children under five suffering from acute malnutrition.

Refugees from Nigeria following the serious security situation in Borno State in June 2013, were estimated at about 44 000 in mid-October 2014, and are located in the Far North region. Their situation is precarious as they have mostly settled in villages along the common border, thus remaining exposed to insurgent group incursions into Cameroon. Humanitarian operators have transferred some of the refugees still scattered in the border regions to the Minawao camp, which has already reached its maximum capacity of 15 000 people.

Overall, the humanitarian situation in the areas where refugees from CAR and Nigeria sought refuge is dire, with host communities and refugees competing over already depleted natural resources. The lean season, which has peaked in September in northern parts, has aggravated food insecurity and malnutrition rates in regions, including North and Far North where the food situation was already precarious due to recurrent climatic shocks which have depleted the households’ productive assets and eroded their resilience capacity.

Humanitarian agencies, in close cooperation with the Government, are providing assistance to refugees and host communities; however, funding constrains and civil insecurity along the borders with Nigeria and CAR have limited the level of interventions to date.

In response to the needs of the increasing numbers of refugees and vulnerable resident households, the Cameroon Strategic Response Plan 2014-2016, launched in January 2014, has been scaled up in July and currently appeals for USD 126 million.