Cameroon: Covid-19 Impact – UNDP Supports 134 Agribusinesses

Young entrepreneurs from the Far North, Centre and Littoral Regions received the equipment at a ceremony in Yaounde on December 17, 2021.

A May 2020 study by the National Institute of Statistics, supported by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, notes that almost 90 per cent of Cameroonian businesses were negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the risk of folding being high. The owners of these businesses said the major challenges they faced were dwindling demand (for 94.2 per cent of the enterprises), supply (76 per cent) and financing (for 72 per cent of these enterprises). Moreover, the Coronavirus pandemic has aggravated the plight of businesses led by women, most of them in the informal sector, another study reports.

It is because of this that the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, on Friday, December 17, 2021 in Yaounde handed over equipment to 134 trained young male and female leaders of Micro, Small and Medium-size Enterprises, MSMEs from the Far North, Centre and Littoral Regions. Meant for agribusiness production, processing and marketing, the assistance was within the framework of UNDP’s Rapid Financing Facility, RFF project. Entitled “Strengthening MSMEs for Economic Resilience and Recovery in the Face of Covid-19 in Cameroon,” the project worth 1.5 million US dollars (about 875.6 million FCFA) began in 2020 and is to last 18 months.

UNDP Cameroon Deputy Representative, Alassane Ba, who oversaw the handover of the support in the presence of representatives of partner government ministries, said 50 other youths will in the coming days be offered agribusiness equipment. He disclosed that similar assistance has so far been offered to young men and women from other regions. He promised more of such assistance in the near future.

The donated equipment included water reservoirs, generating sets, deep freezers, fridges, juice extractors, tricycle transporters, grinding mills, water pumps, computers, printers… . RFF Project Manager, Kouame Euphrasie, explained that of the 134 beneficiaries, more than half were women. Representatives of partner government ministries commended UNDP for the timely assistance, urging recipients to make optimal use of the donation to turn around the fortunes of their businesses.

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