Emergency Humanitarian Assistance: Government Eases Work For Aid Agencies

In order to promote greater accountability in the distribution of humanitarian assistance in the country, the Prime Minister, Head of Government on November 22, 2018 created the Centre for the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance in the North West and South West Regions. The North West field office of the centre and officials were commissioned on June 3, 2019 in Bamenda by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji.

The office is located in the former premises of the North West Governor’s office at Upstation. It is a two-room structure comprising an office and conference hall equipped with computers and a brand new pickup vehicle. Its activities will be coordinated by the Secretary General in the North West Governor’s office, Lanyuy Harry Ngwanyi, under the supervision of Governor Adolphe Lele L’Afrique.

According to the PM’s edict creating the centre, it is placed at the national level under the Minister in charge of Territorial Administration, MINAT. There is a coordinating unit in MINAT and regional offices in Bamenda and Buea in the South West Region. The centre is responsible for coordinating all activities related to the provision of assistance to victims of the crisis in the North West and South West Regions, especially Internally-displaced People, IDPs. Also included are injured, maimed, handicapped, orphaned and victims of destruction of property, host communities and Cameroonian refugees.

The objective is to ensure synergy of activities by various stakeholders identified at central and regional levels. Similarly, it is responsible for organizing meetings and coordinating the activities of various national and international stakeholders involved in the implementation of the humanitarian assistance plan. It will also monitor and evaluate the humanitarian assistance plan, as well as carry out other du ties assigned to it within the framework of its powers.

At the level of divisions and subdivisions, the activities of the centre will be coordinated by Senior Divisional Officers, SDOs and Divisional Officers, DOs, respectively. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Minister Paul Atanga Nji said the Centre for the Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance in the North West and South West Regions has come to reinforce activities of the Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Plan, EHAP. He restated that the centre will assess all incoming aid and provide guidelines on its distribution to the public.

The Minister insisted that henceforth, all humanitarian agencies are expected to meet the Governor upon arrival, who will provide guidance and security cover for the distribution of aid. He said this was for the purpose of traceability and preventing such assistance from falling into wrong hands.

According to Paul Atanga Nji, the creation of the centre and the manner in which it will operate are all in line with international norms. Similarly, all charities, especially local ones offering humanitarian assistance, are to register with the Governor. He commended humanitarian organizations for the assistance so far offered to victims of the crisis, adding that government has by this gesture facilitated the task for them to continue to support its activities.

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