UNHCR Cameroon Factsheet – February 2019

Cameroon currently has 1,181,821 people of concern, including 277,443 Central African and 103,682 Nigerian refugees.

Launch of 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan in Cameroon, targeting 2,3 million of the most vulnerable people in 8 regions, estimated at $299M.

From 23 February, massive movement back to Rann, Nigeria of over 30,000 of the Nigerian refugees settled in Goura since January.

Working with Partners

UNHCR coordinates protection and assistance for persons of concern in collaboration with:

Government Partners: Ministries of External Relations, Territorial Administration, Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Public Health, Women Empowerment and Family, Social Affairs, Justice, Basic Education, Water and Energy, Youth and Civic Education, the National Employment Fund and others, Secretariat Technique des Organes de Gestion du Statut des refugies.

Implementing Partners: Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA), African Initiatives for Relief and Development (AIRD), Agence pour le Developpment Economique et Social (ADES), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), FAIRMED, International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), Intersos, International Medical Corps (IMC), Lutheran World Federation (LWF),

Plan International, PremiAre Urgence – Internationale (PUI) and Public Concern.

Operational Partners: ICRC, Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA), ASOL, Red Deporte, IEDA Relief, Action Contre la Faim (ACF), Solidarites International and CARE International.

UN Agencies: WFP, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, UN Women, FAO, UNESCO, IOM, UNDP and UNOCHA.

Operational coordination: The response for Central African refugees is managed in line with the Refugee Coordination Model. Sectorial groups have been established by UNHCR, covering the whole operational area. Local authorities have been very engaged in the management of the refugee operation. At the capital-level, UNHCR leads the Multi-Sector Operations Team for the Refugee Response and the national Protection Working Group, and actively participates in other relevant humanitarian coordination mechanisms and the Humanitarian Country Team.

Main Highlights

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan was launched on February 20, with a total budget of $299M. The plan, launched in the presence of government and humanitarian partners, seeks to assist 2.3 million people considered to be in urgent need in 8 of the country’s 10 regions. According to the plan, humanitarian needs have increased by 1/3 due to the upsurge in insecurity and violence, which leaves around one in six people � mostly women and children � in dire need of assistance, out of a total of 4.3 million people who actually need support. The response plan will therefore focus on providing immediate assistance to save lives, supporting and protecting affected civilians, identifying risks and vulnerabilities to support the resilience of communities to violence.

The security situation in Cameroon’s Far North Region in February has remained unstable and uncertain with the Boko Haram group carrying out spontaneous attacks. These attacks include kidnappings, killings, looting, burning of villages and theft of foodstuffs. The group made an unsuccessful attempt to cut off the national road number 01 linking Kousseri to Maroua, but was stopped by security forces.

After the scaling-up of humanitarian response to more than 40,000 refugees who arrived in Goura at the end of January, the last days of the month of February were marked by the massive return to Nigeria of the majority of the 40,386 Nigerian refugees (women, men and children) who were settled in and around Goura. According to monitoring, these people went back to Rann, from where they had fled violence. This return followed the visit to Goura of a high-level delegation from the Government of Nigeria, including the Deputy Governor of Borno State and the Mayor of Rann on 26 February 2019. The Nigerian delegation reassured refugees of their safety back in Rann, announcing the deployment of security forces there. Over 30,000 people reportedly returned on foot to Rann town between 27 and 28 February 2019. Other groups of people have moved to neighbouring villages in Cameroon including Fotokol. UNHCR is closely monitoring the situation in case of returns and is also keeping close contacts with UNHCR colleagues in the Maiduguri � Nigeria Office. Meanwhile UNHCR field office in Maroua organised a meeting with its operational and implementing partners to evaluate the situation and come up with a harmonised plan of action for remaining populations and possible future influxes. They are currently working on an emergency plan and response strategy to different future scenarios. Finally, given the current situation in Logone-et-Chari division,UNHCR is strengthening its Kousseri Office.

The situation in Cameroon’s North West and South West regions continues to be tense with continuing armed attacks, destruction of infrastructure and property, as well as kidnapping. The month of February was particularly marked by an almost 2-week lockdown, hindering access to the populations in need of humanitarian assistance.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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