Cameroon

CRS' orphans and vulnerable children program in Batouri, Cameroon provides school fees and food assistance for children like Beatrice (background).  Photo by Lane Hartill/CRS

CRS' orphans and vulnerable children program in Batouri, Cameroon provides school fees and food assistance for children like Beatrice (background). Photo by Lane Hartill/CRS

Cameroon, an oil-rich central African country located in the Gulf of Guinea, is often described as Africa in a microcosm. The country is rich in natural resources and has enormous potential in agriculture, manufacturing and extractive industries. However, rampant corruption and a challenging political system have kept Cameroonians in poverty. The systems and social structures promoting inequality have thwarted citizens' access to the country's riches.

Poor governance, marked by high levels of corruption, causes half of the population to live on less than $2 per day.

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Stats

Population:20,549,221 (2013 est.)
Size:183,568 sq mi; slightly larger than California
People Served:375,182 (2013 est.)

History

Catholic Relief Services has continually adapted its programming to the changing circumstances of the country and to the needs of the Cameroonian people since our first programs in 1961. CRS started working in Cameroon primarily to reduce under-five mortality through child survival programs. The focus then shifted to enhancing food security in the northern regions of the country, where there was drought-related hunger. Later CRS transitioned to governance, health and HIV programming. According to a recent joint World Food Program and Cameroon government assessment, Cameroon has declined from a food-sufficient, middle-income to a food-deficit, low-income country. Our current focus is on supporting orphans and vulnerable children and community health (including water and sanitation).

Partners

Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The Catholic Church
Ministry of Public Health-National AIDS Control Committee

Programs

Health
HIV and AIDS
Microfinance
Water and Sanitation


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