Socio-political Crisis in NW & SW Regions: Emergency Humanitarian Plan Launched
The PM on June 20, 2018 gave details on the strategy and how the money will be raised to restore a conducive environment for the socio-economic development of the affected areas.
People and structures affected in one way or the other by the close to two-year socio-political crisis raging on in the North West and South West Regions will receive multifaceted assistance from an Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Plan put in place by government with instructions from the Head of State, Paul Biya. Prime Minister Head of Government, Philemon Yang, launched the Contingency Plan in Yaounde yesterday June 20, 2018 in a ceremony at the Cabinet Meeting Hall of the Star Building hugely attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps and some elite of the restive regions.
Setting The Base
The Head of Government used the launching ceremony to remind the attendees of the atrocities committed thus far by terrorists since the second quarter of 2016 when legitimate concerns on the functioning of the Common Law System and the English System of Education were hijacked by lawbreakers to wreak havoc on the population and government structures. Prime Minister Yang notably highlighted the attacks on security forces, administrative and traditional authorities as well as acts of arson that have left far-reaching consequences on the population. For instance, he said as at June 11, 2018, some 123 attacks had been perpetuated on security officers causing 84 deaths, cases of arson on some 120 schools in the North West and South West Regions as well as some 15 attacks on traditional rulers. Cases of children being forced into the terrorists forces, racketeering, looting, rape and gruesome killing of citizens by the terrorists, the PM said, were regrettable and could not leave the Head of State indifferent. This as it created a serious humanitarian crisis that today requires substantial resources to guarantee a promising future for the affected population.
The Prime Minister disclosed that so far, the two regions have registered over 74,966 internally displaced persons from the crisis. 8,554 for the North West and 66,412 for the South West. He said children who could not brave the odds in the regions took refuge in others to pursue education thanks to which they successfully sat end-of-course and year examinations.
Priority Areas of the Emergency Plan
It emerged from the Head of Government’s presentation that priority will be given to the protection of displaced persons, healthcare, education, the resumption of economic and agricultural activities and housing among others. Restoring a conducive environment favourable to the return to normalcy of the socio-economic development of the affected areas, promotion of social cohesion and living together, he added, will be given due consideration. Mr Yang disclosed that emphasis will be given to the rehabilitation of health structures either destroyed or abandoned likewise school edifices that equally suffered the same fate before the resumption of the next academic year. Meanwhile, farm inputs will be dished out to the affected population to boost agro-pastoral activities which have been the mainstay of the affected population.
The Funds And Sources
The Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Plan, the Head of Government said, needs FCFA 12,716,500,000 to attain set objectives. The money, he added, will come from the State budget, call for national and international solidarity as well as assistance from development partners. An Ad Hoc Committee placed under the Minister of Territorial Administration will pilot the plan to fruition. The Prime Minister will flag off the fundraising in Yaounde this June 21, 2018.
Talking points on the Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Plan for the North West and South West regions
1. The socio-political crisis in the North West and South West Regions started with some concerns raised by some lawyers and teachers of English expression in the two Regions.
2. The Government has been taking measures to dialogue with representatives of the two socioprofessional groups. Two Ad Hoc Committees were created to this effect in November 2016, on the instruction of the Head of State.
3. The Head of State took important measures to respond to the concerns raised by the teachers and lawyers of English expression. The Head of State has provided more than what was requested.
4. Representatives of the teachers' trade unions have continued to dialogue with the Government.
5. The President of the Republic went further and created the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism (NCPBM) which is currently at work.
6. Terrorists have transformed such legitimate concerns into an opportunity to create terror in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.
7. Acts of terrorism are directed on schools, economic activities, security forces, and administrative and traditional authorities.
8. These acts of terror have resulted in the death of many security officials: 84 deaths have been recorded.
9. The Head of State is working to restore peace and security in the two Regions in line with the laws and regulations in force.
10. Terrorist activities have led to internal displacement of some people, while others have sought refuge in foreign neigbouring and friendly country.
11. Under the authority of the President of the Republic, the Government is responding to the problem of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and wishes to increase support measures in collaboration with its partners and people of good will.
12. In the face of these challenges, the Head of State has instructed the putting in place of the Emmergency Humanitarian Assistance Plan for the North West and South West Regions, placed under the supervision of the Minister of Territorial Administration, with a budget of 12.7 billion CFAF.
13. The call for solidarity and generosity to finance this humanitarian plan is not new to Cameroonians. A similar show of solidarity and generosity was recorded in the case of the humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram
14. The following areas have been identified as priority: protection of displaced persons, food and basic needs, healthcare, education, the resumption of the economic and agricultural activities, housing, and the reconstitution of individual administrative documents.