The ongoing conflict in Anglophone Cameroon is worsening with 1.3 million people in dire need of humanitarian support.
According to the UN Children agency, UNICEF, some 650,000 children are in need of humanitarian assistance and unable to attend school.
Children also dominate the 450,000 people who are internally displaced.
UNICEF says “thousands of people do not have access to essential basic services, such as healthcare and safe drinking water, and livelihoods have been destroyed”.
The spokesperson for UNICEF, Toby Fricker told reporters that the ongoing conflict means very little help is available for those affected.
Separatists in Anglophone Cameroon have been fighting government forces for years now as they push for independence from Cameroon.
Caught up in cross fire
Thousands of civilians have been caught up in the cross fire. That has resulted in casualties with some 200,000 people fleeing their homes.
Anglophones in Cameroon make up about a fifth of the country’s population of 22 million. But they complain of marginalisation in the hands of the French-speaking majority.
UNICEF says children and their families “are suffering from the effects of armed violence; attacks on their homes and schools; abduction, sexual violence and recruitment into armed groups”.
The militia groups operating in the region have also imposed lockdowns, or “ghost-town” days.
Over 600,000 children are unable to attend school with at least 74 schools destroyed, exposing “students, teachers and school personnel to violence, abduction and intimidation.”
Mr. Fricker said targeting education is “putting the future of an entire generation of children at risk, children who with the right support and opportunities can build a more stable and prosperous future.”
The United Nations is now appealing to warring parties to protect all children and their families and allow humanitarian access to them.