By Kesah Princely, Regis Che and Ngome Michael in Buea.
Persons with disabilities ( PWDs) in Anglophone Cameroon have persistently been affected by an ongoing armed conflict between Ambazonian fighters and the country’s regular defense forces.
Human rights groups have revealed that persons with disabilities in the crisis hit North West and South West regions are in dier need of humanitarian assistance. For this reason, some international and local organisations have begun reaching out to this group of persons.
The International SOS, INTERSOS, a UN humanitarian body that provides aid in times of crises, recently supported PWDs in Fako division.
Over 10 beneficiaries including persons with mobility and visual impairments were handed crutches and white canes.
The gesture, carried out in collaboration with the Coordination Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWDs), served as a fertile ground for the two organisations to the cement their relationship. The event took place at CUAPWDs’s premises in Buea.
Speaking to TWIF News after the event, INTERSOS’ Field Monitor Team Leader for Fako division, Orock Clintin revealed that they targeted the PDWs because of the challenges they face owing to the Anglophone crisis.
“We work in the North West and South West regions, indentifying and providing aid to extreme vulnerable cases, including persons with disabilities,” he revealed.
The Protection Officer of CUAPWDs North West, told TWIF News weeks back that several PWDs in Anglophone Cameroon had lost their sources of livelihood, thousands displaced, hundreds injured and over 60 killed.
As an organisation striving to restitute hope in the affected persons, INTERSOS mainly covers protection, which encompasses needs identification and tracking of human rights abuses under the umbrella of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“This assistance is due to the assessment carried out that we realised PWDs were in need,” Orock Clintin added.
The beneficiaries appreciated the gesture but stressed that it would have been better to properly assess their needs prior to the buying and provision of such aid.
“I am happy to have this crutch but it would only be helpful if I had calipers,” a beneficiary said.
The INTERSOS team however promised that the issue would be looked into subsequently.
Meantime, the said project to assist PWDs in Fako was sponsored by STICHING VLUCHTELING, a Dutch based organisation partnering with INTERSOS.
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