WFP

WFP and COMINSUD: THE MOSES OF OUR TIME

Project Tile: Emergency Food Assistance to vulnerable persons (IDPs and host communities) in Mezam and Momo divisions and the provision of specialized nutritious food to children aged 6-23 months and PLW in Momo division of the North West Region

Project Objective: To improve food security of 12000 vulnerable IDPs and host communities in Mezam(Bali) and Momo (Batibo, Widikum,and Mbengwi) divisions (North-West region) from January to December 2021

Target: 12000 Direct Beneficiaries

Activity Title: General food assistance (GFD)

Then they left their comfortable residence and jobs in cities and Journeyed into the villages (Bali. Batibo, Widikum and Mbengwi). Some left from these villages into the bushes and hard to reach areas. There too, the whole community of Bali. Batibo, Widikum and Mbengwi spoke bitterly against the crisis in the Nation. Oh that we were back in 2015 “they moaned” it would have been better if we are…………. marginalized there by the ……………French speaking brothers! At least there we had plenty to eat. We could go to our farms, grow our crops, sale and consume. But now this situation has brought us into this bushes and hard to reach areas to starve to death.

Then COMINSUD said “look I’m going to write about this to some helpers (WFP) they could provide food so that you people would not starve to death. The people waited for the good news and in 2019 COMINSUD was given the contract to served 12000 vulnerable persons in Bali, Batibo, Widikum and Mbengwi. WFP says “The people can go out every month and pick up food items according to the number leaving in their houses. Then WFP and COMINSUD through its field agents mobilized, sensitized and selected persons whose situations were worst off as compared to others base on vulnerability criteria from WFP. Food was shared to all 12000 persons every month from October 2019 to June 2021.

The people collected the food every month each family according to its household size. The population of Bali, Batibo, Widikum and Mbengwi were so happy for they hard hope to leave again. Those in the bushes and hard to reach areas had food in their homes, those who could no longer go to their farms were relief since they have food in their houses. World food Programme (WFP) through Community initiative for sustainable development (COMINSUD) assisted the population with Rice, beans, oil and salt to be consumed by all members of the household and super cereal for children age 6-59months, pregnant and lactating women.

In the course of sharing in 2019 till half of 2021, more vulnerable persons kept pleading to be included in the process. WFP heard their supplications just like the Israelites in the Bible God heard their cry and gave them manner, WFP decided to do a second phase of selection of beneficiaries. Its quiet unfortunate that only Mbengwi could be served with this new list of vulnerable persons. Since July 2021, the vulnerable population of Bali, Batibo, and Widikum could not receive their entitlement because of road blocks.  The whole community of Bali. Batibo and Widikum continue to speak bitterly against the crisis in the Nation. Oh that we were back in 2015 “they moaned” it would have been better if we are…………. marginalized there by the ……………French speaking brothers! At least there we had plenty to eat. COMINSUD just like Moses prays that the roads are open so they can reach the vulnerable persons not only in Bali, Batibo and Widikum but beyong.

AKWA JULIETTE

The Regional Director of WFP in charge of Central and West Africa visits COVID 19 response CBT beneficiaries and COMINSUD in Bamenda

Regional director with CBT beneficiaries

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 Base 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 regional director interacting with COMINSUD Staff

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.  

The regional director interacting with CBT beneficiaries

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.

The regional and country director with field office

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