Social situation Millions of people dependent on international assistance

It is estimated that about 40 per cent of Cameroon's roughly 27 million people are living in poverty. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), 4.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and more than 2.3 million are food insecure.

A woman walking in Douala, Cameroon

A woman walking in Douala, Cameroon

A woman walking in Douala, Cameroon

Poverty is particularly severe in the rural areas of the Far North and the eastern part of the country. These regions are not only structurally underdeveloped, they are also exposed to recurring extreme weather events such as periods of drought. In the Far North Region, more than 40 per cent of under-five-year-olds are affected by chronic malnutrition.

Although the official unemployment rate is relatively low at 3.6 per cent (2020), large proportions of the workforce are considered underemployed. This affects, in particular, informal workers in micro enterprises and smallholder farmers engaged in subsistence farming.

Development progress has been made on infant and child mortality, school enrolment, and drinking water supply. However, there are still great deficits in the field of sanitation. In rural regions, three fourths of the people do not have basic sanitation.

The latest United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) ranked Cameroon 151st out of 191 nations.