CHOLERA-hit communities in Northern Cameroon have been floored by a second disaster - a massive food crisis.
Charity Plan International says thousands of children and adults who were devastated by the waterborne disease last year are now struggling to cope after dire harvests.
“People in the north of the country are suffering from an appalling combination of erratic rains, recurring drought, high fuel costs and plagues of insects,” says Barro Farmari, Plan International Country Director in Cameroon.
“The price of basic food, such as grain, has skyrocketed – in the north, more than one million children under five are under threat.”
“More and more children are dying and families have little or no agricultural work to help bring in money to buy food.”
Aid workers are warning that more than one in five women (21.4%) could be suffering from malnutrition in the extreme north of the country.
Northern Cameroon falls into the Sahel region of West and Central Africa, where more than ten million people are at risk.
“The situation is deteriorating and we are appealing for more than £1.3 million to help us tackle the crisis,” says Mr Farmari.
“Children and pregnant women are some of the most vulnerable and they need specialist food and medical supplies.”
“We are scaling up our food distribution, as well as training community local health workers to identify and treat critical cases.”
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Plan has been working in South Sudan since 2006 - helping poor children to access their rights to education, health, protection and economic security.
Notes to editors
1) Plan is a global children’s charity. We work with children in the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future. A future you would want for all children, your family and friends. For over 70 years we’ve been taking action and standing up for every child’s right to fulfill their potential by:
· giving children a healthy start in life, including access to safe drinking water
· securing the education of girls and boys
· working with communities to prepare for and survive disasters
· inspiring children to take a lead in decisions that affect their lives
· enabling families to earn a living and plan for their children’s future.
We do what’s needed, where it’s needed most. We do what you would do. With your support children, families and entire communities have the power to move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.
2) Plan UK is a member of The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 14 leading humanitarian aid agencies.
3) We work with children in 50 of the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future.
4) Plan was founded by British journalist John Langdon-Davies in 1937 to rescue orphans and other vulnerable children from the Spanish Civil War.
6) We have over 100,000 sponsors in the UK, generating £24 million a year, and 1 million sponsored children worldwide
7) Sponsorship starts at £15-a-month and, rather than going to individual children and their families, funds projects to improve schooling, health, nutrition and livelihoods across communities.