On September 17, 2020, Pauline Effa, Managing Director of the NGO Partenariat France Afrique pour le Co-développement (PFAC) took part in the distribution of health kits at the Mbalmayo central prison, Cameroon.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a double health and economic crisis in Cameroon.
In this national context of search for solutions, the Network of Mayors of Cameroon for Social and Solidarity Economy (REMCESS) called upon the NGO PFAC. The "program to combat the spread of COVID 19 through the support and mobilization of women and youth cooperatives" is the result of several observations:
- Local populations do not have enough durable masks that comply with the standard developed in Cameroon for health safety;
- Some municipalities have neighbourhoods where access to water remains limited;
- Prisons are overcrowded and the lack of masks available to inmates increases the risk of contagion;
- Refugee camps in border areas are vulnerable to the virus.
The NGO PFAC has therefore mobilized the member cooperatives of the Local Networks of Social and Solidarity Economy (RELESS) for the production of sanitary kits. The RELESS, accompanied by organizations such as the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), launched an operation called "5,000,000 masks against COVID 19 within the RELESS".
Some of the masks produced were used to make up health kits distributed by REMCESS to vulnerable populations.
The kit per Commune and per prison consists of 1500 protective masks, 10 boxes of soaps (i.e. 500 soaps per Commune), 5 boxes of hydroalcoholic gels, and 12 hand washing devices.
This initiative recalls and highlights the central role of women and young people in the development of the Social and Solidarity Economy, and the weight of SSE in the fight against the pandemic.