Cameroon Crisis Response Plan 2024

Last updated: February 08 2024
Funding required
People in need
People Targeted

IOM Vision

IOM Cameroon’s strategic crisis response approach rests on two key pillars: emergency response to crisis and peacebuilding, and transition and recovery, while mainstreaming the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. To this end, IOM Cameroon provides critical information on displacement and needs to the broader humanitarian and development community, and tailored lifesaving assistance and protection, with a community-based approach. Through this approach, IOM aims to address the underlying causes and drivers of crisis, opening avenues for durable solutions to displacement, and provide support to conflict management and reduction while building community resilience so that communities progressively transition away from urgent needs through sustainable development.

Key Operating Modalities
Participation and empowerment Conflict sensitivity Integrated Programming Collaboration and partnership Localization Cash-based interventions
Cross-cutting priorities
Data and evidence Protection Mainstreaming Gender Equality Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse Disaster Risk Climate Change

Objective 1 - Saving lives and protecting people on the move
Saving lives and protecting people on the move

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
Former combatant / fighter, Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted
  • IDPs, vulnerable host communities, and communities hosting conflict-related displaced populations. 
  • IDP returnees, people with disabilities, people with special needs, children and youth, etc. with key vulnerabilities including low access to protection, life-saving assistance and basic services.
  • Survivors of human rights violations, gender-based violence (GBV), victims of exploitation including trafficking, and people at risk of drug consumption and addiction. 
  • Community and religious leaders, including traditional healers.
  • Humanitarian partners and recovery organizations, including all RRM actors in NW-SW and Far-North regions, that will benefit from the continued production and dissemination of reliable data on needs assessments, displacement figures, trends and intentions for more informed and appropriate crisis response planning, coordination and implementation that does no harm.
  • Stabilization and recovery actors in the Far-North, North, Adamaoua and East including the HDPN Task Force, local authorities and communities, agropastoralist communities and farmers.
  • All displaced populations in the NW-SW and Far-North that will benefit indirectly from a more efficient humanitarian response overall.
  • Communities at risk of flooding in the Far-North and NW-SW regions and at risk of further displacements in crisis-affected areas, that will benefit directly from greater preparedness activities.

Shelter and settlements

IOM plans to provide tailored shelter/NFI assistance to the most vulnerable IDPs, refugees outside camps, returnees, and vulnerable host communities identified through vulnerability assessments (based on national cluster guidelines and including persons with specific needs, single female-headed households, elderly, families at risk of imminent eviction etc.) in the Far-North throughout 2024, and Rapid Response kits (RRM kits) in the NW-SW to address urgent needs and alleviate suffering. Interventions will be in line with the Shelter/NFI and WASH Clusters guidelines and the Cash Working Group guidelines with different modalities (e.g. in-kind support with emergency shelter kits, transitional shelters, and RRM kits and cash-based interventions (CBIs) such as for NFIs, housing rehabilitation, or rental support, among others) depending on the needs, vulnerability criteria and local context, and throughout interventions will ensure separate spaces for men, women and families to mitigate GBV risks.

In the context of overall low donor funding, IOM will aim at providing a more holistic Rapid Response assistance in line with the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) and strengthen the Area RRMs in both crisis areas.

Initiatives in shelter, settlements, and NFIs will include:

  • Pre-positioning and/or distribution of shelter materials;
  • Pre-positioning and/or distribution of Household Items;
  • Design, set-up/construction, upgrades of transitional/core shelters and housing;
  • Settlement level interventions: Site and Settlement planning, upgrading of settlement infrastructure, participatory enumeration, address systems, etc., including activities to reduce risk related to settlement conditions;
  • Market-based interventions, including cash to access NFI/shelter/housing (may include cash or voucher assistance for rental, repairs, reconstruction, shelter NFI and household Items), and for supporting community infrastructure at the settlement level;
  • Provision of material, technical and/or financial assistance for self-recovery, including Information Education and Communication (IEC), training or support to Build Back Better;  
  • Coordination of cluster and cluster-like mechanisms and technical working groups.
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

Following the IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in Emergency Settings and IOM’s Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement, IOM will develop and implement dedicated activities specifically addressing the needs and capacities of those at highest risk of GBV to conflict-affected populations in the NW-SW and Far-North regions of Cameroon, including vulnerable women and girls, and children (especially if unaccompanied or separated), victims of trafficking (VoT) and other vulnerable populations with particular attention given to effective participation and empowerment of the community in line with IOM's AAP Framework. Initiatives will include:     

  • MHPSS capacity-building and training of pertinent actors including government, UN Agencies, NGOs and civil society, e.g., in basic MHPSS, psychological first aid (PFA) and communication skills;
  • Provision of MHPSS emergency kits, which includes a range of items such as soap, children’s toys, whistles, torches, and cloth for clothesmaking. 
  • Direct provision of a comprehensive set of community-based MHPSS services (such as socio-relational activities, psychoeducation, counselling and referral services) through the deployment of community-based and multidisciplinary Psychosocial Mobile Teams (PMTs); 
  • Construction of community safe spaces, child-friendly spaces and safe spaces for women in coordination with the communities and IOM’s protection team as well as the protection cluster for linking and further use of the referral system; 
  • Organization of community-based socio-relational activities (e.g., creative and art-based activities, sports and play, socio-cultural activities) addressing the needs and capacities of those at highest risk of GBV, and strengthen community networks, particularly those of women and girls, VoTs and other vulnerable groups;
  • Capacity-building of traditional doctors/healers on the identification of mental disorders and the referral of people in need to relevant MHPSS services and health centres for ongoing management, if needed;
  • Integration of MHPSS into other humanitarian sectors including the further mainstreaming of MHPSS considerations into Shelter/NFI response and protection activities.
Funding required
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies

Over the course of 2024, IOM plans to continue the:

  • Construction and repair of local community infrastructure (water points) based on community diagnostic and planning processes, for improving communities’ access to safe, clean and sustainable sources of drinking water as well as to appropriate water sources such as raw water for livestock or greywater for agriculture that will be sourced to support livelihoods and transhumance practices;
  • Promotion/support to the creation of water committees if no prior water infrastructure governance exists, and building capacities for the proper management of the community infrastructures;
  • Building household and community sanitation infrastructures and promoting their proper use as well as other hygiene good practices to avoid the spread of cholera and other WASH-related and communicable disease outbreaks;
  • Distribution of hygiene items including water collection items and menstrual hygiene management items. 

At all times, WASH interventions will be aimed at alleviating existing community tensions and underlying factors to small conflicts while paying special attention to mitigating any existing GBV risks through situation and needs analysis to be reflected in the project design, for improving access to shared water resources where they are needed most. Interventions will make use of local labour wherever possible using cash-for-work and will be supervised by IOM’s technical staff to ensure the highest quality installations. 

Funding required
Plan types

Displacement tracking

IOM aims to continue providing data for action and insight to ensure a better understanding of population displacement numbers, trends and the evolving profiles and needs of conflict and disaster-affected populations in the Far-North, North-West, South-West, West and Littoral regions of Cameroon, and include the Center region. It will do so through the regular collection, processing and dissemination of data to support the humanitarian community to assess and analyze the needs of vulnerable populations and provide an immediate response to the most vulnerable people. 
IOM will also engage with information management (IM) stakeholders to ensure that both DTM and secondary data are properly shared and used. In the wake of the Global Information Management, Assessment and Analysis Cell (GIMAC) – Data Entry and Exploratory Platform (DEEP) initiative, IOM will provide the expert panel with relevant information and advocate for common data sharing among UN agencies and with partners working on information management and statistics in Cameroon (Information Management Working Group, National Institute for Statistics, etc.).

Based on partners’ needs, IOM will focus on:

  • Conducting and distributing the Emergency Tracking Tool (ETT) to help coordinate partners’ emergency response to sudden displacements, caused by both conflict and disaster in the North-West, South-West and Far North regions;
  • Conducting Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessments (MSNA) that will fit into wider Humanitarian Country Team planning and be developed jointly with active clusters in the North-West, South-West, Littoral, West, Far-North and Centre regions;
  • Ensuring the expansion and continued roll-out of the Stability Index to identify pockets of stability where the environment is conducive for humanitarian-development-peace nexus programming to converge;
  • Thematic data collection and analysis such as the Future Intention Survey and Mobility Tracking, aiming to inform humanitarian and transition and recovery actors on the number of IDPs and returnees and their unique living conditions, intentions and multisectoral needs;
  • Data collection on transhumance flows and agro-pastoral tensions through IOM’s Transhumance Tracking Tool (TTT) in order to reduce tensions linked to unexpected movements of cattle, resource management and the subsequent small conflicts surrounding transhumance in the East, Adamaoua and North regions taking also climate change induced movement into consideration through relevant DTM tools such as Climate Vulnerability Assessment.

Additionally, activities covering the Far-North will support an IOM sub-regional strategy of harmonization of data collection tools, methodologies, calendars and products across the Lake Chad Basin countries (Chad, Niger, Nigeria) and the creation of a sub-regional DTM able to provide better cross-country analyses to national and sub-regional authorities (such as the Lake Chad Basin Commission, or LCBC).

Funding required
Plan types

Emergency preparedness

IOM will continue its efforts to reinforce capacities at all coordination levels for disaster risk management and emergency preparedness, acknowledging that preparedness activities save time and costs in potential humanitarian responses. IOM will engage government counterparts, UN Country Team members including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), NGO partners and multi-disciplinary experts in the coordination of preparedness measures, to work together to prepare for the potential impacts of disaster. In particular, IOM will focus on:

  • Support to relevant governmental entities to strengthen risk monitoring tools, minimum preparedness actions and contingency planning activities through capacity-building activities led by both IOM and via coordination mechanisms;
  • Development of procurement and pre-positioning plans for shelter/NFI tools and materials, WASH hygiene kits, cholera kits and WASH equipment (spare parts/pumps, water quality testing materials, etc.) for faster response with a prioritization for local procurement whenever possible to support local markets;
  • Engagement with humanitarian partners, including local NGOs in the Far-North region, to improve emergency preparedness and response capacity, in particular to floods. This approach includes conducting a study to identify precise flood-prone areas and needs, and propose, in coordination with OCHA, a yearly intervention plan to enhance disaster risk management and emergency preparedness. It also includes the reinforcement of the preparation levels of some communities (including through small scale mitigation activities, risk mapping, reinforcement or creation of early warning systems at the community level, simulation exercises, reinforcement of village committees and other local actors to be able to better organize the first response activities).
Funding required
Plan types
Sensitization on the signs and symptoms of mental illness and the referral circuit, Mora (Mayo Sava). © IOM 2023
Sensitization on the signs and symptoms of mental illness and the referral circuit, Mora (Mayo Sava). © IOM 2023

Objective 2 - Driving solutions to displacement
Driving solutions to displacement

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
Former combatant / fighter, Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted
  • IDPs, community members, and IDP and refugee returnees, particularly youth, in the Far-North region who are at particular risk of inter-community tensions, exploitation and recruitment into armed groups.
  • IDPs, host communities and IDP returnees in the North-West, South-West, West, and Littoral regions, with key vulnerabilities including low access to protection, livelihoods and basic services (including shelter, WASH, education and healthcare).
  • Populations affected by agro-pastoral conflicts, including herders and farmers, refugees, women and youth in the Far-North, East, North and Adamaoua regions of Cameroon. All stakeholders involved in conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms in these regions (consultative commissions and local conflict management committees). 
  • Civil society groups across all crisis areas who seek greater technical and financial support to be more involved in community engagement and reconciliation activities. 
  • All stakeholders of the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus Task Force through strategic direction and coordination as well as additional contextual knowledge for targeted high-quality programming.
  • Humanitarian, development and stabilization actors across the multi-disciplinary spectrum in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, including the Government of Cameroon and local authorities, UN Country Team, Resident Coordinator’s Office, and international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who will benefit from critical information for enhanced coordination of the response to sudden needs related to displacements due to specific risks such as large scale flooding in the Far-North and other climate-related shocks such as poor harvest seasons and their impacts on transhumance patterns.

Community stabilization

IOM's community stabilization initiatives are dedicated to engaging local communities and stakeholders in bottom-up diagnostic and planning processes to address the root causes and drivers of conflict and instability and identify jointly tangible actions to address them. This process ultimately supports transitions away from crisis towards a resumption of functioning social, economic, and political life. Initiatives follow IOM’s global community-based planning manual, which has already been adapted to the context in the Far-North and in the NW-SW regions, including the development of specific standard operating procedures. 

Planned activities include:

  • Organization of community-based planning processes through the training and accompaniment of local leaders and specific local officials for collective community diagnostic and planning processes, resulting in the validation of Community Action Plans (CAPs).
    • Implementation of local rehabilitation and construction of community infrastructures based on validated CAPs;
    • Facilitation of advocacy sessions between community groups and higher-level government officials for the presentation of CAPs for additional locally mobilized resources;
    • Creation of vocational training and livelihood opportunities for youth following specific community planning exercises such as seasonal analysis and local market analysis; 
    • Organization of community dialogues and consultation processes in the Far-North region through inclusive dialogue on community grievances to identify the factors leading to frustration and a sense of being left behind that trigger the exploitation and recruitment of youth by NSAGs;  
    • Development and implementation of community violence reduction interventions, including through the development of quick-impact projects and local grant mechanisms;
    • Reinforcement of the relationship between communities and local governance structures and the provision of basic social services and shared resources;
    • Support to existing or establishment of new inclusive community peace committees where the community can work to identify and resolve local safety and security issues in partnership with law enforcement;
    • Strengthening of law enforcement actors’ (such as the police or judiciary) ability to engage with the community to address local governance or security issues and build greater trust and accountability in local government institutions while ensuring Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD), risk analysis and management;
  • Use of conflict mitigation and resolution methods to ensure peaceful transhumant campaigns, including through;
    • Reinforcement of institutional and communal conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms as well as promotion of dialogue on the sharing of natural resources including water; based on the informed analysis done through the Transhumance Tracking Tool;
    • Support of community members to address tensions between herders and farmers caused by climate change and unmonitored transhumance practices using existing mechanisms of conflict mitigation.
Funding required
Plan types

Health system strengthening

In continuation of a partnership with WHO since early 2021, IOM aims to upscale its ‘Peace through Health’ initiative for the Far-North region, which aims to reinforce the capacities of health authorities to respond to the needs of communities, through:

  • Support to local community health committees or COSA (comité de santé) at the subdistrict level to organize community health consultations to collect information on community health needs.
  • Provision of the necessary materials and equipment to COSAs to respond to community health needs identified through dialogue processes.
  • Organization of cash-for-work activities to construct or rehabilitate small health infrastructure where needs are identified.
Funding required
Plan types

Peacebuilding and peace preservation

In addition to the community stabilization activities, which hold an ultimate goal of building social cohesion and peace, and building on its engagement in the Far-North and North-West, South-West regions of Cameroon, IOM will ensure:

  • Continuation of its support to the Government of Cameroon to collaborate with national and local partners to support the peacebuilding and social cohesion efforts in conflict-affected communities where displacement and returns may impact the fragile social fabric and increase the risk of inter-communal conflict;
  • Support to the development of relevant national frameworks and strategies, including specific procedural manuals for community violence reduction, and gender mainstreaming and age-sensitive measures within peacebuilding programming;
  • Support to the government for the establishment of long-term coordination mechanisms for working jointly with civil society networks and women’s organizations in particular;
  • Provision of transitional justice mechanism support through conducting research on the existing mechanisms and providing technical and material assistance.
Funding required
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in transition and recovery

During 2024, IOM aims to promote reconciliation among community members, including individuals who may previously have been associated with armed groups. This will be done following a holistic approach that will include MHPSS-specific services (including sensitization, counselling, referrals, and peer support groups) paired with community engagement and capacity-building on activities that can be used to promote reconciliation, specifically the holding of arts-based events. Specific activities will include:

  • Capacity-building of local civil society organizations (women’s associations, youth associations, and organizations supporting vulnerable groups) in the Far-North on arts-based MHPSS approaches for community reconciliation. 
  • Conduct of workshops with local representatives, to identify the key cultural arts-based practices to ground activities such as poetry, dance, painting, and sport. 
  • Organization of arts-based activities by IOM’s Psychosocial Mobile Team.

IOM also plans to strengthen systems for MHPSS in crisis contexts, ensuring that systems are well-prepared for sudden shocks. Initiatives will include:

  • Integration of community-based MHPSS to address the psychosocial needs of people following experiences of conflict and displacement with a survivor-centred approach in the different regions of intervention;
  • Strengthening or establishment of local community structures and committees within communities and IDP settlements, such as women and youth groups and conflict management committees, in order to strengthen referral processes, facilitate community-based MHPSS activities (including psychological first aid (PFA));
  • Capacity strengthening of medical personnel in health centres and traditional doctors/healers on the identification of mental disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder) and referral mechanisms to specialized mental health services;
  • Training of health personnel on PFA, care practices and communication skills, as well as referral systems, and on handling disclosures of survivors of violence, including GBV;
  • Engagement with health centres in the Far-North to further train and support them on the management, storage and dispersal of psychotropic drugs to persons in need of medical treatment, such as cases of severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and others, including on the specific stock management of drugs and on financial sustainability to ensure sufficient stocks; 
  • Provision of psychoeducation sessions to communities to reduce stigmatization of persons with mental health (MH) needs and to strengthen community capacity to promote supportive environments for persons in need of MHPSS services;
  • Reinforcement of protection and safety in referral pathways to ensure that no one is left behind and that international quality standards and human rights aspects are respected when referring people to clinical MH services (especially psychiatric institutions);
  • Reinforcement of coordination mechanism within the technical partners and with the government especially in the Far North, through playing the key role as co-chair of the MHPSS technical working group.
Funding required
Plan types

Land and property

During 2024, IOM aims to continue supporting community-based land and property activities, especially through awareness-raising and legal assistance with a focus on the NW-SW. Specific activities will include: 

  • Consultative meetings with key stakeholders to have a common understanding of an overview of the housing, land and property (HLP) situation, identify HLP needs, and look forward to how to tackle the problem and barriers through an approach based on gender sensitivity, age group, status and cross-section, which includes persons living with a disability;
  • Awareness-raising campaigns on issues around HLP rights, security of tenure in land and property transactions, land registration procedures and the importance of female land ownership in the communities affected by conflict and displacement to improve their knowledge and understanding of how to claim and react to their HLP rights, how to secure their transaction to be formal, and the phases for land registration; 
  • Individual counselling sessions to tailor legal advice on HLP issues and regular beneficiary follow-up, either by phone or face-to-face directly by IOM staff and/or via community relays contracted with IOM;
  • Coordination with the HLP WG and the Protection Cluster at the regional level to ensure coordination of response.
Funding required
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in transitional and post-crisis situations

In addition to the WASH infrastructure support and capacity building in maintaining the facilities constructed and/or repaired under humanitarian and protection contexts, IOM intends to support WASH through the lens of durable solutions. Specific activities will include:

  • Programming WASH interventions through the community-based approach (CBP) for enhancing social cohesion through resource management with the training of core facilitation teams that are representative of the wider community (local leaders, host communities, IDPs, ex-associates);
  • Further support on capacity building and setting structures for managing WASH facilities in the longer term;
  • Enhancing dialogue around WASH issues including effective use of water resources as an entry point of discussion between the communities with ethno-professional tension such as the Far North region.
Funding required
Plan types

Adaptation and disaster risk reduction

In line with the Sendai Framework priorities and in the framework of the CADRI engagement, IOM Cameroon works with multiple stakeholders, including governmental counterparts, the Resident Coordinator and multi-disciplinary experts in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation to strengthen the country’s risk information systems, prioritize risk reduction in national and local plans, and enhance preparedness systems. Activities and measures will be designed to mitigate existing and prevent new disaster risks. IOM will support the following initiatives:

  • Development of a DRR action plan/the update of the National DDR strategy under the leadership of the Civil Protection Direction, through capacity-building of relevant stakeholders on DRR as identified by the CADRI’s recommendations once activities around CADRI are reactivated;
  • Coordination forums/platforms engaging different specialized stakeholders, including governmental counterparts, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector, on the subject of DRR;
  • Strengthening of community-based disaster risk management capacities, including support to develop local early warning systems and community-led initiatives that reduce risk while building resilience to disasters/hazards, which would also support conflict resolution/mediation efforts (in areas where climate hazards interact with intercommunal conflicts, for instance, between transhumance and farming communities);
  • Implement mitigation measures in the fields of health, nutrition and WASH to reduce risks in disaster-prone communities;
  • In flood-prone areas, work in camps and/or shelter sites and host communities to reduce the impact of flooding through structural and non-structural flood mitigation;
  • In drought and flood-prone areas, focus on community-based disaster risk management interventions related to WASH to ensure sustained access to safe water and sanitation through environmental protection measures and trainings.
Funding required
Plan types
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Figures are as of 31 December 2023. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.