There is famine in the Far North region of Cameroon, a country in West Africa that borders Nigeria and Chad. Following incursions from northeastern Nigeria by forces of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram last year, many Cameroonian farmers abandoned their fields, markets closed, some 500,000 people were displaced, and the normal circulation of goods was disrupted.
In December 2014, Lutheran Hour Ministries—Cameroon Director Rev. Samuel Frouisou visited the Far North region to help deliver an initial shipment of relief supplies provided by LHM partner ministry Orphan Grain Train. In April, Rev. Samuel returned so that he could visit camps in the region’s Mayo-Tsanaga Division. What he found was ongoing urgent need.
“The number of refugees and displaced people in the Mayo-Tsanaga camps totals nearly 27,000,” says Rev. Samuel—all of whom need food, water, clothes, shoes, shelter, medicines, hygiene supplies and more. Those who farm are desperately hoping also to receive seed so they can plant and grow crops. Acknowledging that they may be displaced for some time, the camp residents also have asked for educational supplies.
“Based on a report from the national Government of Cameroon,” says Samuel, the need for building schools and equipping them will be very costly. Aid from our partners in the form of stationery, pens, reading books and so on would be most welcome.”
In late spring, a joint military force from five nations and led by Nigeria succeeded in recapturing a significant amount of Cameroonian territory that had been seized by Boko Haram. Although the danger of insurgent activity persists, there is growing hope that the region could become stable again in the near future. In the mean time, an estimated 200,000 Cameroonians are struggling day to day to have enough food for their families.
Please pray for survivors of violence and persecution at the hands of extremists in West Africa. To learn more about Lutheran Hour Ministries—Cameroon, visit lhmcameroon.wordpress.com.