U.S. Ambassador Christopher J. Lamora visited Bamenda from January 23-24, marking his first visit to the Northwest Region as U.S. ambassador and his second since serving in Cameroon 32 years ago as a young diplomat. During the visit, Ambassador Lamora stated: “It was very important to come to the Northwest Region and to Bamenda in particular to hear the perspectives of a broad range of people on the ground, including Cameroonian government officials, faith leaders, civil society and media representatives, and key U.S. government health and humanitarian partners. These engagements will help shape and enhance our cooperation with all stakeholders to support the people of Bamenda, the Northwest Region, and Cameroon as a whole as they work towards a more peaceful and prosperous future.”
During the course of his visit, Ambassador Lamora met with Governor of the Northwest Region Adolphe Lele Lafrique, Mayor of Bamenda Paul Tambeng Achobong, Regional Delegate for National Security Elung Njume Wilson Nijkang, and President of the Regional Assembly Fru Angwafor III, who shared their perspectives on the security, economic, and humanitarian situation in the region. The Ambassador also met with journalists based in Bamenda as well as faith and civil society leaders from various locales in the Northwest Region, and expressed his appreciation and admiration for the key role they play in contributing to good governance, the promotion and protection of human rights, and economic growth.
Reaffirming the U.S. government’s longtime support in the health and humanitarian sectors, Ambassador Lamora met with United Nations agencies and NGO partners at the UN joint compound. He also separately visited the International Medical Corps (IMC), which receives over 1.5 billion FCFA per year from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen primary health care in remote communities affected by the crisis in the Northwest Region. Through this USAID-IMC collaboration, approximately 57,000 people in the Northwest Region have access to maternal and reproductive health as well as nutrition assistance.
Underscoring the United States’ long-standing commitment to combatting HIV/AIDS, the Ambassador visited the Nkwen Baptist Health Center, which is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the hospital, the Ambassador was able to observe first-hand how U.S. partnership is fostering improved diagnosis, care, and treatment of HIV in addition to educating the local community on HIV prevention.
In a highlight of his visit to Bamenda, the Ambassador met with the multi-NGO team implementing the Consolidating Systems and Services for the Management of Orphans and Vulnerable children (CoSMO) project, as well as a number of children and families whom the CoSMO project has benefitted. Funded through USAID and implemented by the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, the five-year, 20 billion FCFA project seeks to improve the well-being of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2023, the project reached nearly 7,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the Northwest Region.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Cameroon.