In regions Africa and Cameroon and in groups Cameroon and Africa

North West South West


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A child looks on at a damaged mudbrick shelter.

The situation in the North West and South West regions which started as a political crisis has deteriorated with continued conflict between the Government Defense Security Forces and Non-State Armed Groups. Two assessments were conducted in the first quarter of the year, which gives some insights into the current needs of internally displaced, returnees, and non- displaced households in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. New estimated figures from the OCHA Multi-sectoral Needs Assessment (MSNA) conclude that there are now an estimated 366,300 IDPs, with 234,100 IDPs in the Northwest region and 132,300 IDPs in the Southwest region. The MSNA also identified an estimated increase in returnees with, 371,900 returnees, with 238,600 returnees in the Northwest region and 133,600 in the Southwest region. According to data collected by Plan International in a household assessment funded by UNHCR, 89% of IDPs in the Northwest Region and 90% of IDPs in the Southwest region are living in houses with the majority of the homes being sun-dried mudbrick shelters in the Northwest, and the majority of homes being made of timber in the Southwest region. According to the OCHA MSNA, the dominant strategy of internally displaced people is still to be hosted by host families, indicating that overcrowding in shelters is still a concern. 52 % of IDPs in the Northwest region and 46% of IDPs in the Southwest region are estimated to be living with hosting families. Renting is also a frequent strategy of IDPs, indicating that affordability of shelter is a concern for the internally displaced in both regions. 30% of IDPs in the Southwest and 13% of IDPs in the Southwest are estimated to be renting their accommodation. Damaged shelters is also a high concern for returnees and non-displaced populations. 58% of returnees and 38% of non-displaced in the Northwest region and 44% of returnees and host families respectively in the Southwest region (Plan assessment) reported that their shelters had been damaged. The OCHA MSNA estimates that 27,115 returnee households have had their homes partially damaged, with over 21,000 of those households being located in the Northwest Region.

The crisis has created differentiated shelter needs for internally displaced people, returnees, and extremely vulnerable people living in damaged shelters (non-displaced). While internally displaced people live in inadequate makeshift shelters in spontaneous settlements, with host families, or in rented accommodation, returnees and non-displaced cite the lack of affordability of shelter materials as a key obstacle to repairing damaged homes. The crisis is a primarily urban crisis with the majority of the affected population living in homes and apartments with a few situations of sporadic settlements in the bush. For displaced people housed with host families or in an urban area, they often live in precarious sanitary conditions in overcrowded accommodations. 

Access constraints caused by a poorly maintained road network and the security situation are a challenge for shelter actors to provide a timely response. In addition, most Shelter Cluster partners are providing only non-food items and shelter kits. In the NW region, metallic items were banned from the shelter kit, and Shelter Cluster partners are currently looking at alternative solutions, so as to be able to support internally displaced or returnees with their immediate shelter needs. Thus far in 2022, the response has been the following:

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