Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Host Communities
$15,000.00 Donation Goal
Project financing: US$15,000.00
A. INTRODUCTION & SOCIOPOLITICAL ATMOSPHERE
1. The Northwest and Southwest civil war has left 1,850 dead, more than 437,000 are currently internally displaced and tens of thousands of refugees, mostly women and children with 42,610 refugees in Nigeria, (UN Briefing, August 31, 2019). UN estimates per region: 246,000 of them in the Southwest Region, 105,000 in the Northwest Region, and the rest in the Littoral and West Regions, 51% living in host communities. IDPs are dispersed within the country as follows: 246,119 in the Northwest, 104,801 in the Southwest, 54,159 in the Littoral and 32,434 in the West.
2. Between the military and armed separatists violence and crimes have driven thousands of Cameroonians into internal displacement and over the border into Nigeria. The displaced, most of whom are women and children, face a grave humanitarian situation in both countries. They fled with very little and arrived in impoverished host communities with no food resources and already limited health, education and WASH facilities in these areas. In addition to triggering internal displacement in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon, the ongoing conflict has also forced over 35,000 Cameroonians to seek asylum in Nigeria. As the conflict persists in Cameroon, UNHCR anticipates that the influx into Southeast Nigeria will continue, with 20,000 refugees projected to flee in the coming months. This would result in an increase in the overall number of Cameroonian refugees to more than 50,000 by the beginning of 2020 (UNHCR August 31, 2019 reporting).
3. The legal and protection environment in Cameroon is not conducive for a development response to forced displacement even though the Government has just organized a national dialog on the conflict and established mechanisms for disarmament of insurgents.
4. Why economic inclusion of refugees and host communities matters: The protracted refugee presence has had mixed impacts at the local level. On one hand, the refugee population can be a burden on a country in which 56 percent of people still live with less than 1U$ a day, hence in extreme poverty. The host communities have been affected by food unavailability, basic services as local school populations have increased by more than 300 percent. Many IDPs that were farmers found themselves in areas leading to soil erosion and runoff into agricultural lands. Deforestation has also occurred as refugees gather wood and non-timber forest products for cooking fuel and other purposes. Offsetting the negative effects, small business refugee traders have contributed though to the local economy in the host communities through less paying labor and trade. For example an IDP from Batibo in the Northwest region works for 30.000 FCFA per month which is less than the Cameroon minimum wage and most of that money is spent on taxi to/from her job side. There’s nothing she can do to improve her living conditions because with this salary, she pays rent, provides food, clothing, health and everything for her family.
B. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
5. Project Development Objective. The Project Development Objective is to improve access of IDPs and host communities to basic services and livelihoods.
6. PDO Indicators: (i) Beneficiaries with improved access to community infrastructures (Health and education). (ii) Beneficiaries will be trained on income generating and capacity building on project management and financing. (iii) Beneficiaries will be placed on the job market and their children enrolled in school, vocational centers or apprenticeship.
C. PROJECT COMPONENTS
Component 1: Capacity building, empowerment and income generating activities for the parents (3,000.00 US$).
7. This component will lay emphasis on capacity building and empowerment for those who want to carry out small businesses. The component will generate significant socioeconomic returns in the short and long term through their businesses that will render them financially independent. By improving their living conditions, they will also improve the living standard of their host communities. Finally, this component could also contribute to maintaining or improving social cohesion in targeted areas.
Components 2: Health/Education: Apprenticeship, vocational training or formal education for the children (3,500.00 US$).
8. This component will support improved access to basic services, particularly health and education, with care for the sick and enrollment in school or apprenticeship in vocational centers. The rationale is to provide improved universal access to services to IDPs and host communities, since refugees currently have relatively greater access to services than their hosts. The component will generate significant socioeconomic impacts in the short and long terms through a more educated and healthy population. By improving access to basic services for both populations, but particularly for host communities, which have less access to them, this component could also contribute to maintaining or improving social cohesion in targeted areas.
We will mostly rely on the communities at the identification stage where they will be mobilized to identify their priorities within a limited menu with an emphasis on health, education, water and sanitation. Our Focal Points at the remote areas will be also very much involved at early stage of identification and our options must be consistent with national plans in the health and education in order to avoid any efforts duplication.
Component 3: Cash assistance, job placement for those with skills in the private sector or self-employment (4,000.00 US$)
9. Activities under Component 3 will focus on the expansion of the wellbeing of IDPs by improving the poor and vulnerable refugee and host community households in selected areas. This component seeks to provide more targeted assistance to improve the resilience of the poorest/most vulnerable households through cash assistance, job placement in the private sector for skillful ones or self-employed or funding of micro projects.
Component 4: Advocacy and consciousness campaigns on living together (5,000.00 US$)
10. Component 4 will finance awareness campaigns on social inclusion and living
together in selected areas. This component includes all stakeholders: (Traditional rulers, faith groups, administrative officers, civil society, municipalities and communities). The campaigns will be widely broadcasted and covered by national and international press. Media gadgets and kits will be produced and thematic workshops, roundtables discussion and interviews carried out. This component seeks to contribute, maintain and bring back social cohesion, peace and living together in targeted areas.
Component 5: Project Results, implementation, supervision, evaluation and monitoring (4,500 US$)
11. The project will provide important lessons to guide future actions and activities in the selected areas as we can see in lessons learned from phase one implementation of the project last year. For these reasons, the project will implement innovative monitoring arrangements that will measure progress on outputs and outcomes and on the evolution of IDPs. The project will rely on its internal resources and on several partners to help monitor progress in different areas. The project will capture progress in the implementation of basic services. The project will need external expertise in implementing some of its components such as MDs and consultants under components 2, 4 and 5. The project will also rely on feedback from local authorities and communities during the identification, implementation phases. In areas that are difficult to access, the project may consider using local Focal Points and ICT or remote sensing technologies (enhanced M&E) to monitor implementation progress of ongoing activities and community use.
D. LESSONS LEARNED FROM YEAR ONE OF THE PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
12. Last year we spent more than 2,000,000.00 francs CFA (4,000.00US$ equivalent) on 507 refugees for food, shelter, vital resources, placement, clothing, and access to at least the basic needs (Health, education, housing, security and social wellbeing). Our challenges remain where and how to find the money to sustain the results so far acquired and implement its second phase that has already registered more than 138 IDPs women and 751 children on the waiting list.
13. The positive impact on beneficiaries were obvious: For example, Godwill, a father of 11 is ongoing a driving training; Patu, single mom of 8 is self-employed; Seraphine is back to school; Zephaniah is on pre-employment; Bernadette and Ernestine have become small business women selling groceries, ero and dried fish.
E. PROJECT YEAR ONE ANNUAL REPORTS
14. Annual activities and financial reports were drafted and submitted to all our donors and local related administrative authorities.
F. SOCIAL COHESION
15. Through the assessment of this first phase of the project we monitored the relationship between IDPs and host communities, include both IDPs and host communities in all project activities and found out that they live peacefully and the risk of tensions and conflicts are very little and can easily be contained. For example in Magba near Foumban in the West region, local communities burn down some IDPs’ shelters last year; but mitigation measures to lower these tensions were rapidly taken by the competent local authorities. Phase two will carry out the same assessment at completion.
Please help us achieve our year two objectives by helping IDPs living at host communities cope better with their situations and in an inclusive way.
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Friday, December 31, 2021