Monday, November 28, 2022

Refugee women in Cameroon struggle to survive

Refugee women in Cameroon struggle to survive

There are approximately 460,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Cameroon, most of them women and children who have fled the violence in the Central African Republic and Nigeria. But while they have found safety in Cameroon, refugee women are not always welcomed by the locals and struggle to survive.

Mairama Abba, 35, cleans her goat’s roe in the Ngam refugee settlement on Cameroon’s eastern border with the Central African Republic, CAR.

Mariama said she fled armed conflicts in the CAR in March 2015 after her husband and two children were killed in a shootout between rebels and government forces.

Mairama said she and her two remaining children are living peacefully in the Ngam refugee settlement in northern Cameroon and have no intention of returning to their war-torn village called Nyem in northern CAR Mairama said the money she earns from selling chickens and sheep allows her feed your children and take care of children’s health.

Mairama said the first two years of her stay in Cameroon were among the most difficult of her life, as she and her children went days without food or water. She said that the UN Children’s Fund in 2016 saved her children from death from malnutrition.

The UN and humanitarian agencies say Mairama is one of at least 350 women and girls in the Ngam refugee settlement who have since been taught to be self-reliant.

Ohandja Claire Leady is an employee of the International Medical Corps charity organization. She said that in addition to medical services, her organization provides training that helps refugee women and girls become less dependent on aid.

She said that several hundred refugee women and girls now know how to embroider, make soap, sew dresses and raise animals at home. She said that prior to the training, women are taught self-reliance and are psychologically prepared to maintain income, which will enable women to improve their living conditions and take good care of their families when they start working.

The World Bank and the United Nations Office for Refugees, UNHCR, provide so-called targeted cash support to refugees through a program called Social Safety Nets.

Amma Couto said that in 2018 she received $70 from the Social Security program. She said she invested in selling palm oil and salt to refugees and Ngam villagers.

Koutok said she saved $300 in three years and bought a machine to grind corn and rice flour. She said that the Women’s Association of their camps, with the support of the World Bank and UNICEF, played an important role in improving the living conditions of refugee women, especially widows, and women who do not know whether their husbands are dead or alive.

Host communities complain that refugees steal food and livestock, provoke conflict over water resources, shelter and farmland, and cut down trees for firewood.

Helen Ngoh is UNHCR Communications Officer in Cameroon. She said that this year on World Refugee Day, UNHCR tried to convince host communities to sympathize with refugees.

“The vast majority of Central African refugees, about 330,000 Central African refugees, are still here and they are safe here in Cameroon. ) draws attention to the importance of people who have to leave their homes to be able to be safe,” Ngoh said.

Speaking on the Cameroonian state broadcaster CRTV, Ngo refugees from the Central African Republic and Nigeria are afraid to return home because of the violence in their home countries.

Meanwhile, UNHCR says less than 15 percent of the $154 million needed this year to help displaced people from Nigeria and Central Africa has been raised.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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