US Ambassador Lamora met on Tuesday, March 21, with H.E. Felix Mbayu, Minister-Delegate at the Ministry of External Relations, to discuss the U.S.-Cameroon relationship and several issues of mutual interest to both countries.
The relations are close, although they have sometimes been affected by concerns over human rights abuses and the pace of political and economic liberalization. The bilateral United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program in Cameroon closed for budgetary reasons in 1994.
However, approximately 140 Peace Corps volunteers continue to work successfully in agroforestry, community development, education, and health. The Public Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé organizes and funds diverse cultural, educational, and information exchanges. It maintains a library and helps foster the development of Cameroon's independent press by providing information in a number of areas, including U.S. human rights and democratization policies. The Embassy's Self-help and Democracy and Human Rights Funds are some of the largest in Africa.
Through several State Department and USAID regional funds, the Embassy also provides funds for refugees, HIV/AIDS, democratization and girl's scholarships. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided a commodity grant valued at $6 million in 2003 to fund agricultural development projects in the North and Far North provinces. A similar program for $4 million was approved in 2004. The program will fund an agricultural development and nutrition enhancement project in the East and Adamawa provinces.
The United States and Cameroon work together in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations. While in the United Nations Security Council in 2002, Cameroon worked closely with the United States on initiatives. The U.S. Government continues to provide substantial funding for international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and African Development Bank, that provide financial and other assistance to Cameroon.