Photo: WFP/Glory Ndaka/2021

Cameroon

40%

of the population lives in poverty

2.4M

estimated people are food insecure

62%

of people work in the agricultural sector

The Situation

While Cameroon has experienced consistent economic growth, poverty levels have remained steady. An estimated 40% of Cameroon’s 27.2 million people live in poverty which affects several aspects of their lives – from health to education to living conditions. The incidence of poverty is particularly high in rural parts of the northernmost and eastern regions, where structural underdevelopment and recurring climatic shocks, including floods and prolonged dry spells, limit people’s ability to thrive.

Cameroon faces three large-scale, complex and protracted crises. Since 2014, the country has been experiencing influxes of refugees fleeing violent conflict in northeast Nigeria. Violence and instability in Cameroon’s Far North region are also causing internal displacement and disrupting local agricultural production. Furthermore, political instability and armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been forcing CAR refugees into Cameroon’s East, Adamawa and North regions.

Climate-related shocks, coupled with insecurity and displacements, mean food insecurity has continued to increase. The Humanitarian Response Plan (March 2021) revealed that 4.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Cameroon, with more than 2.4 million estimated to be food insecure between October and December 2021.

WFP's Work

WFP has been present in Cameroon since 1978. Working with the government and other partners, WFP responds to the immediate food and nutrition needs of crisis-affected populations in Adamawa, East, Far North, North, Northwest and Southwest regions while implementing long-term solutions. With humanitarian access remaining a challenge, WFP facilitates access to hard-to-reach regions by providing passenger and cargo air services.

  • Food Assistance and Cash: WFP provides food assistance to populations affected by shocks like conflict and weather extreme including refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and vulnerable host communities. In 2021, WFP reached over 800,000 people in Cameroon with unconditional assistance. WFP is also the largest distributor of cash assistance in Cameroon, accounting for more than 60% of cash transfers
  • Nutrition Support: WFP provides nutrition assistance to children aged 6 months to 5 years, pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls, and malnourished people living with HIV.
  • Support for Small-Scale Farmers: WFP provides financial and technical support to small-scale farmers in the Far North, North, Adamawa and East regions of Cameroon. Focus areas include improving post-harvest storage facilities and agricultural practices, diversifying crop production, and enhancing market access for both men and women.