RELUFA empowers IDPs to fight COVID-19

The Network for the Fight Against Hunger, RELUFA, has empowered some Internal Displaced Persons, IDPs living in Douala, Littoral region. This was during a forum organised in partnership with the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, PDA, to create awareness on the persistent deadly COVID-19 pandemic and to educate them on ways of prevention.

While enlightening them on the different ways to protect themselves and their families, the coordinator of the network, Jaff Napoleon Bamenjo, reminded them that the pandemic is still in existence in the society. He thus urged them to be vigilant in respecting the different barrier measures put in place by the government to curb the spread of the virus. Having survived the gun battles between separatist groups and the defence and security forces, the displaced persons were told it is not time to give chances to the deadly virus that continues to wreak havoc in political, economic, and social activities with over two million dead globally.

The event was also used to provide relief assistance to representatives of some 100 selected IDP families. The assistance comprised of foodstuff and non-food items for approximately 400 persons. According to the organisation, awareness raising, prevention of the COVID-19 virus and coping support to the IDPs is key at this crucial moment as cases of infected patients continue to rise exponentially. Displaced by the crisis in the respective North West and South West regions, most of the IDPs are said to have ventured into daily activities to ensure their sustenance.

But due to the outbreak of the pandemic in Cameroon last March 2020, most of them reportedly lost their jobs and businesses which were their main source of livelihood. Many of these IDPs live in difficult conditions, generally occupying a one room house where as many as 12 people take shelter. Such living conditions, medics say, are convenient for the rapid spread of COVID-19. It should be noted that RELUFA has been providing food assistance, skills training, and education support to these IDPs in different regions of the country. The Network for the Fight Against Hunger is a non-political and non-profit network composed of ecumenical and civil society organisations that have joined forces to develop common strategies against systemic hunger problems.

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