Thursday, October 21, 2021

Benefitiaries of WFP Assistance Cautioned to be Resilient



A few persons from the grassroots deeply affected by the ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest region have shared stories of how affected they are with the Regional Director of World Food Programme for West and Central Africa, Chris Nikoi.

Most of them told stories of being displaced from different divisions, away from their farms and could barely manage their situation until they registered and got selected to gain financial assistance from the World Food Programme.


"I am an IDP, living in Bamenda, most of my Children are out of School. My husband was shot, while he was selling roasted meat, a buisness through which we barely managed to payboyr bills. When he was shot, I lost hope until I registered with WFP and I got selected to recieve some assistance" Dzeka Collette Wirsy.


Francis Tohnjam lost his pregnant wife, as they both searched for a safe space when things got worst home.

"I am an IDP, displaced from Kumbo to Bamenda with my pregnant wife, who passed on in the course of child birth. I had an accident later and could barely help myself, including the children my wife left behind. My children have not been able to begin school because I don't have the means. The assistance I have recieved from the WFP has helped us to feed" he explained.


According to the head of distribution, Tangnju Ngiewih who is head of office at Lukmef, she revealed that over 280,000 persons are being assisted by the WFP in the Northwest region and about 45,000 of them in Mezam. The criteria for selection targets vulnerable persons.

"WFP has a criteria that is set forth for benefitiaries to be able to benefit from it's assistance; WFP targets those who have been affected deeply by the Crisis, pregnant and lactating women, persons with disability, the number of persons living per household with particular attention on their income that sustains them"


Some information explains that World Food Programme started this assistance program in August 2020. As teams went to the field to get necessary information, Statistics and register the target population in order to give out assistance.

According to sources in WFP, When the program started it targeted over 10,000 people but between August and December, it moved between 17,000 to 18, 000 people. As the program expanded, it targeted persons affected in Kumbo, Santa and later reached out to over 28,000 people.


Accompanied by the WFP's Country Director for Cameroon Wanja Kaaria, the Regional Director for West and Central Africa advised benefitiaries, affected persons of the ongoing armed conflict to be strong and hope that donors will keep providing assistance.


"What I want to tell them is that they should remain strong. We will pray for them, they too should pray for us. The money we give to them, is what we get from the donors and it is voluntary. They should pray for us, so that when we talk to the donors, they too will respond", Chris Nikoi.


The President of the feedback and Complain Mechanism Committee, who also doubles as the Parish Pastor for PC Ntaghem, appreciated the team at WFP for providing assistance to those in need, and he explained that getting assistance to feed is not very sustainable than seeking an end to the crisis.

"We want to thank the WFP for coming to the assistance of the grassroots population, those that are displaced. WFP is sustaining many lives, which fufils the biblical wordings of Jesus, as you continue to reach out to many people. We also appeal that it will be good that we seek a lasting solution
to this problem we are faced with"

"Some of us can stay for a week without eating rice. We are used to our stable food like cornfufu. A poor mother suffers, cultivates her corn and the whole barn is full then suddenly it is raised to dust by fire. She finds herself eating rice day in day out. We are pleading that the Int. Organizations should look into the problem, plaguing our Country Cameroon. Our people are suffering" Rev. Kekuntang Simon N, PC Ntaghem.


After visiting the food distribution centers in Bamenda; Ntambessi and Mike 4 Nkwen, Chris Nikoi was pleased by the work done by the staff at the different centers and expressed gratitude to donors, partners who have been supportive not forgetting collaboration from government for supporting the initiative.


"Am supper pleased that I came, I have seen WFP operations, the response on the ground, the collaboration from Government, support from our partners who are committed and Engaged. Most importantly I was very touched by the stories of benefitiaries, it is clear that the crisis has eaten deep and turned upside down the livelihoods of many people."

"I feel proud about what we do to sustain people's lives, including the assistance we provide to keep their children in school. I wish our donors were here to listen to these stories, am sure to relay their needs to donors so that the continue to support them" Chris Nikoi, Regional Director for West and Central Africa.



By Ndefru Melanie
ndefrumelany@gmail.com


    

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