The Regional Director of WFP in charge of Central and West Africa accompanied by the Country Director of WFP Cameroon and the head of Field office North West visited Bamenda the capital town of the North West Region on the 21st October 2021. As part of the visit, the regional director met some 25 beneficiaries of COVID-19 response Cash Based Transfer (CBT) project at Bayelle parish hall, Nkwen with the aim of seeing them, and listening to their stories, challenges and opinions about the project.
COMINSUD, as cooperating partner, with WFP is implementing the CBT project alongside the General Food Distribution and Nutrition. The CBT project started in August 2020 for 6 months. The project has been extended three times (in January 2021, June 2021 and October 2021) The project reaches out to 28,323 vulnerable persons (Female 18,888 and Male 9441 in four divisions including Mezam (Bamenda l, ll, lll, Santa and Tubah subdivisions), Ngoketunjia (Ndop), Bui (Kumbo) and Momo (Mbengwi) with a monthly assistance of 5000 frs per beneficiary.
The visit gave an opportunity for WFP visiting delegation to meet and interact with some beneficiaries of the CBT programme. During the visit, the regional director sought to have first-hand information from the beneficiaries on how the crisis in the NWR has affected them and to understand the ways in which the assistance helped them. Beneficiaries presented their stories while highlighting the impact of the support they have been receiving in their lives especially in improving their nutrition, health, economic empowerment, shelter and education. The beneficiaries were very grateful and happy for the timely humanitarian cash base assistance from the WFP and expressed their joy using songs and dance to the delegation.
After listening to the stories of the beneficiaries, the Regional Director was visibly elated by what the assistance has done. In pidgin language, he sympathised with the current crisis situation saying that people should remain hopeful and patient because everything that has a beginning such as the crisis surely has an end. The regional director said he will transmit the messages of appreciation to the hierarchy and share the testimonies with goodwill persons who make the donations of the assistance. He ended up by appreciating the team for the marvellous work they are doing in serving humanity in a very challenging and risky context.
During the visit, the regional director also had a separate meeting with representatives of all cooperating partners in the NWR including COMINSUD, SHUMAS, LUKMEF, INTERSOS, PLAN International and CARITAS Bamenda. The meeting was also aimed at sharing successes and challenges faced by the CPs. From one CP to the other, they presented the various projects implemented in partnership with WFP focusing on targets, successes and challenges. Most of the CPs cited insecurity as the main challenge. The regional director sought to know the opinions of the CPs on the possibility of the crisis ending anytime soon. All the CPs noted that the crisis is nowhere near ending. Instead, there seems to be a rise in violent activities and the NSAG have gained skills in the fabrication of IEDs and have also acquired more sophisticated weapons which are clear indications that the crisis will still drag on.
At the end of the meeting, the regional director appreciated the efforts of CPs in providing lifesaving food and cash services to vulnerable persons in very difficult security situations. He encouraged CPs to continue working in the same spirit while exercising caution as the carryout activities. The visit at Bayelle parish hall ended at about 1pm while the delegation from WFP proceeded to meet the beneficiaries of GFD.
Lopti, edited by Dr Zama and Celestine
Co – staff Juliette, Linda and Sylvia