A more generous embrace

Published 13. Sep 2022
The socio-political crisis that has unfolded for the past six years in the north-west and south-west regions of Cameroon has led to the displacement of over one million people, with two million people in need of assistance.

It has affected girls and women differently than men and boys. The vulnerabilities and needs of girls and women have been recognized and addressed to the extent that available funding allows. There has been less attention to the armed dispute' intense impact on adolescent boys and men, which has not allowed for understanding the gendered impact that crisis has on them.

This report seeks to rectify that neglect, providing much needed information on how adolescent boys and men are coping with the economic and psychological strains resulting from the crisis and how their struggles affect girls and women, as well as the society at large.

The analysis also explores how the perceptions, attitudes and modus operandi of humanitarian actors shape the way in which adolescent boys and men’s assistance and protection needs are understood and are addressed. The consequences of neglecting their needs are not just potentially disastrous to them but also puts women and girls at additional risks and affects, indirectly, the security, resilience and cohesion of the broader society.

Humanitarian organisations and donors must expand their vision of who the people in need are. They should ground their response on contextual evidence rather than on preconceived ideas of who’s most affected. Understanding how the lives of men, women, girls and boys interact and how their realities affect each other will help develop responses that are truly evidence-based and that are commensurate to the needs of all members of society.