(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government and the World Food Program signed a partnership on September 29 to implement a food security project for vulnerable communities in the northern regions (Adamaoua, North and Far-north), the East, Northwest, and Southwest.
The objective is to help Cameroon achieve “zero hunger” by stabilizing community productivity and nutrition, reducing post-harvest losses, improving gender equality and social inclusion, and promoting market opportunities for small-scale farmers.
The partnership with WFP will offer essential aid to almost 260,000 vulnerable individuals, combining conditional cash transfers with nutritional support. Moreover, it will provide nutritious meals to students in 50 schools, supported by a funding allocation of $35 million (more than CFA21 billion). An extra $42 million (more than CFA26 billion) will facilitate economic empowerment and resilience activities benefiting about 160,000 farmers, fishermen, and herders. These activities encompass support for agricultural production, the development of value chains, and enhanced market access.
The partners seek to enhance the adoption of climate-smart farming practices among small-scale farmers, promoting increased productivity and climate resilience. These efforts are in line with the Emergency Project to Combat the Food Crisis (Pulcca), scheduled for implementation between 2023 and 2025. Financed by the World Bank (€90.2 million, or about CFA59.17 billion), this initiative is expected to enhance food and nutritional security and bolster the climate resilience of households and producers targeted by the initiative.
WFP expresses concern over the escalating humanitarian needs in Cameroon. Climatic shocks, such as floods and droughts, regionalized conflicts, resulting insecurity, population displacement, and the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbating the already weakened resilience of households. Even previously unaffected areas are now grappling with food and nutrition insecurity.
According to projections from the latest Harmonized Framework of Zones at Risk and Identification of Food and Nutritionally Insecure Populations, approximately 2.43 million Cameroonians will face food insecurity between October and December 2023, leaving them unable to meet their basic nutritional requirements. The funding from the World Bank will be used to boost food systems' resilience, enabling vulnerable communities to safeguard their livelihoods and farmers to secure their agricultural tools.