Cameroon; poor, young and in debt


Cameroon is on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea. The current state was created in 1961 following the unification of two former colonies, one British and one French. Poverty is everywhere, with over 50 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, particularly women and children.

Just over half of the population is under 20 years old and infant and under-five mortality rates are on the increase. Debt servicing is a significant drain on government resources. Growing defence expenditure and widespread corruption also impacts considerably on the provision of basic services such as education and health.

Aids Orphans in Cameroon, Africa

Cameroon, like many sub-Saharan countries, faces poverty which is made worse by the affects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. 5% of the adult population is affected by HIV/AIDS. There were an estimated 300,000 orphans in 2007 as a result of HIV/AIDS, 27% of all orphans (Source UNICEF)

SOS Children has implemented a community outreach programme to more than 5,000 orphaned and vulnerable children and their families in three areas in and around the capital Yaounde. This programme includes the supply of anti-retroviral drugs. In addition staff of the SOS Children's Village as well as people from the local community have learnt about living with HIV/AIDS from an HIV-infected patient.

As part of the Family Strengthening Programme, SOS Children has supported families in Mbalmayo, Douala and Yaoundé with food medicines and education. In addition courses on health education and on sex education have been introduced at the primary school to try to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

If you interested in helping the situation in Cameroon you might like to consider how to sponsor a child in Cameroon.