Violence in Cameroon, affecting more than 700,000 children out of school – global issues

Two out of three schools in the northwest and southwest regions of the country have closed. On November 24, four children and a teacher were killed in an attack on Ikundo Tete, in the southwest.


The recent closure imposed by a non-state armed group, from 15 September to 2 October, limited access to basic services including health and education.

More than 700,000 children have been affected by school closures due to violence in northwest and southwest Cameroon. © Education Cannot Wait, a global fund hosted by UNICEF / Daniel Beloumou

During the period, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Reported a series of attacks in the northwest.

Eight students were kidnapped, and a girl’s fingers were cut off after she tried to go to school. Five public school principals were also kidnapped, including one who was killed at the time.

All schools and community learning spaces have been closed, except for some schools in a few metropolitan areas that are operating at less than 60 percent of capacity.

The closure and insecurity have also forced UN agencies and aid organizations to temporarily suspend aid deliveries. During that time, about 200,000 people did not have access to food.

Multiple crisis

Nine out of ten regions of the country are still affected by one of the three humanitarian crises: the northwest and southwest, the conflict in the Far North, and the refugee crisis, with people fleeing the Central African Republic.

Combined with these crises, more than one million children need urgent educational support.

To answer some of these needs, education cannot wait (ECW), which is the UN Global Fund for Education in Emergencies and Crises, works closely with UN agencies, the Norwegian Refugee Council and other civil society partners.

ECW contributes $25 million over three years and invites other donors to fill the $50 million gap.

When fully funded, the program will provide approximately 250,000 children and adolescents with access to safe and protective learning environments in the hardest-hit areas.


Just this week, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, and Director of Education Can’t Wait, Yasmine Sharif, made a joint visit to the country.

Ms. Sharif said in a statement:It is among the most complex humanitarian crises in the world today. ”

“Children and youth are forced to flee their homes and schools, are threatened with violence and kidnapping, forced into early childhood marriages and are recruited into armed groups,” Ms. Sharif recalls.

Jan Egeland argued that “putting a school bag on your back shouldn’t make you a target”, but unfortunately Children in Cameroon “risk their lives every day just to come to school.”

Mr Egeland declared that “Cameroon’s massive educational emergency needs international attention, not a murderous silence from the outside world”.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo