Since Dec 2018, UN-OCHA reported that the war in Southern Cameroons had led to the internal displacement of over 437,500 persons and the arrival of more than 40,000 refugees in Nigeria. The majority of the refugees are in Cross River, Benue, and Tabara States. Thousands of them are still in temporal shelter settings and have no guarantees for sanitary toilets, portable water, food, or educational programs for the youths. The SCMS, after due consultation with activists and humanitarian organizations in Nigeria elected to support communities which were most severely affected https://reliefweb.int/report/cameroon/cameroon-humanitarian-snapshot-south-west-and-north-west-regions-july-2019.
Essential food items were delivered to a refugee settlement in Orong, Nigeria, by SCMS representatives on December 13th, 2019. The pilot project to assess the needs, capabilities of local partners, as well as lay connections for long term initiatives was a success. SCMS representatives also had a chance to meet and interview local administrators and security personnel who gave a very positive behavioral evaluation of the state of the refugees in the last few months but continued to underscore the escalating humanitarian crisis. Several challenges still plaguing the visited communities included insufficient food, shelter and other basic needs. The crime rate amongst the refugees was reported by the local administrators to be low to nonexistent https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/13/cameroons-separatist-movement-is-going-international-ambazonia-military-forces-amf-anglophone-crisis/.
The refugees also had an opportunity to provide feedback on their daily challenges, difficulties and the most urgent needs. They emphasized amongst others the need for mobile health clinics to deliver basic first aid and preventive care. Medical activities by the local Nigerian authorities and international organizations were applauded but noted to have not met the basic requirements of the refugees. Also of top priority were electric generators for well and water sanitization system to improve its portability. Existing wells and boreholes with hand pumps required frequent repairs and were unreliable https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/13/cameroons-separatist-movement-is-going-international-ambazonia-military-forces-amf-anglophone-crisis/.
The SCMS will be carrying out similar projects in refugees camps in the near future. We sincerely appreciate all those who have partnered with SCMS to alleviate pain and suffering of the Southern Cameroons refugees in Nigeria. Special thanks to our implementing partners as well. We thank all of our donors for your generosity and hope you recognize the enormous impact you are making in the psychosocial and physical health of Southern Cameroonian refugees.