The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is offering financial assistance to about 18,000 households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Cameroon’s Far North Region.
The project, expected to last for six months, is being financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development.
The decision to provide the assistance is informed by the fact that the sources of revenue of millions of Cameroonians in the informal sector have been seriously affected by the sanitary crisis linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Far North Region, in particular, the situation has resulted in a drastic reduction in the incomes of several people employed in the informal sector, where some of have been forced out of work.
“These households drawn from urban and semi-urban zones within the Maroua 1, 2, and 3 subdivisions in Diamare division as well as certain localities in Logone et Chari division have been chosen on the basis of their vulnerability,” a WFP official in Yaounde told the media.
It is estimated that 17,360 persons would benefit from the emergency assistance against the effects of the coronavirus.
“This assistance which would amount to 30,000 FCFA (about 60 dollars) per month takes into account the sizes of the households concerned,” a WFP official told newsmen.
Sources said the WFP financial assistance would come as a windfall for the beneficiaries.
Hamandjam Kalanta, a bricklayer and father of 12 children, told Eye of the Sahel newspaper that he had never faced the kind of difficulties he currently faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is true that I am not rich but my work permits me to eat daily and to meet up with the vital needs of my family. Unfortunately, with the arrival of the COVID-19, all has turned upside down.
“For the sake of decency, I would not tell you all what I am facing but I can only say that things are not easy. That is why we appreciate this assistance from the WFP which would help us meet up with some of our needs during the months the programme would last,” Hamandjam said.