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|2020 planning figures|
|20,000||refugees from CAR will get information on conditions of return and on return plans|
|9,000||IDPs will receive identity documents|
|4,000||refugees from CAR will receive production kits or inputs for agriculture, livestock and fisheries activities|
|3,000||stateless persons will be assisted with civil status registration or documentation|
|28||Nigerian refugee households will have access to alternative or renewable energy|
|2018 year-end results|
|96%||of primary school-aged children were enrolled in primary education|
|92%||of births were attended by skilled personnel|
|80%||of SGBV survivors received appropriate support|
|80%||of identified people of concern with disabilities received specific services|
|54%||of leadership/management structures included active female participants|
|20,000||internally displaced households received emergency shelters in the South-West region|
People of Concern
Working environmentThe current crisis in Cameroon started in October 2016, when teachers and lawyers in anglophone regions spoke out against the marginalization they felt in Cameroon as the minority in a predominantly francophone country. The crisis in Cameroon’s North West and South West regions has displaced 530,000 people internally, with 35,000 crossing into Nigeria. Most of the displaced are women and children. On 10 September 2019, the president of Cameroon called for a national dialogue to address the crisis.
In the Far North Region, some 104,880 Nigerian refugees have fled Boko Haram insurgency and are settled in Minawao refugee camp and host communities, while 262,830 people remain internally displaced. The political unrest in the Central African Republic (CAR) has also pushed some 285,170 Central Africans to seek refuge within the East region of Cameroon. Cameroon is also home to close to 25,520 urban refugees from various countries in the sub-region. They are mostly settled in Douala and Yaoundé. There are also some 8,800 asylum-seekers.
One of the main planning assumptions is that the current political and economic stability will continue in 2020. At the same time, beyond national borders, the current security situation of the eastern states of Nigeria and western parts of CAR are likely to remain the same until 2020. If the current security situation remains, or further improves in the countries of origin, an increase in voluntary returns is expected for 2020.
The level of acceptance of refugees by both the State and the host communities remains high. However, the pressure on resources and services, the perception of assistance as favouring refugees, a rise in insecurity and crime coupled with strong allegations that refugees are responsible have undermined peaceful coexistence.
Joint committees and peace forums have been set up to enhance peaceful relations between the refugee and host communities. The provision of training on international protection, rights and duties of refugees will continue to be provided to administrative, judicial and military authorities to maintain a favourable protection environment. Health services, education, water provision, vital statistics, and hygiene and sanitation will all be strengthened for both communities to reduce the pressure created by an influx of refugees.
UNHCR is lobbying and advocating with Ministry of Planning and Land Development, donors and with development actors to financially empower people of concern and to ensure they are included in relevant programmes. This strategy follows a long research phase, which included a multi-community survey.
Key prioritiesSince 2016, Cameroon has embarked on a process of registration and refugee determination activities to establish fair and effective national asylum procedures. This process started for refugees living in urban areas in Yaoundé and will extend to rural areas by 2023. UNHCR continues to issue identification cards to refugees, despite challenges ensuring the security forces recognize the documents.
Achieving refugees’ economic inclusion and improving their livelihood opportunities, while reducing their dependency on humanitarian aid, requires collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders, so UNHCR is partnering with the Government and donors through to development actors and other UN agencies.
The March 2017 tripartite agreement between the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria and UNHCR for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon facilitated the voluntary return of 133 Nigerian refugees in August 2019. In June 2019, a similar agreement was signed between the Governments of Cameroon and CAR and UNHCR for the voluntary repatriation of Central African refugees living in Cameroon. More than 4,000 people are expected to return to CAR by the end of 2019, with thousands more refugees in Cameroon potentially returning to their places of origin in 2020, security permitting.
A new framework convention with Cameroon’s Ministry of Health will be finalized in 2020, extending the Government’s health remit to other areas where refugees are present, such as the Far North and the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. In principle, refugees will also be covered by a universal health coverage scheme planned by the Ministry of Health.
UNHCR is involved in civil documentation to prevent statelessness and ensure the enjoyment of basic social rights, including education. However, civil registration centres lack the resources necessary to meet demand for birth certificates from both refugees and the host population. In 2020, UNHCR will: continue raising refugees’ awareness of birth registration in health centres; assist refugees in acquiring their children’s birth certificates and paying their fees; support mobile court hearings; support the distribution and acquisition of civil status registers; Organize six workshops on civil documentation for local authorities and advocate the launch of civil status centres near refugee locations.
A data sharing protocol was signed in March 2019 with the Cameroonian authorities, granting identity cards to refugees. To ensure each refugee receives the document, UNHCR will: procure the necessary equipment for the document production and fund its maintenance and repair; encourage those at refugee settlements to renew refugee ID cards and family composition certificates; and organize workshops to build Government staff’s capacity to issue biometric cards to refugees.
Livelihoods and income-generating activities will include: facilitating the supply of improved seeds around at least three agricultural value chains and agricultural tools to 20,000 households; developing hydro-agricultural schemes for off-season crops to create agricultural entrepreneurship pools; developing micro and small enterprises with easier access to financing; promoting Voluntary Savings and Loan Associations; training young people in small trades and supporting their social and professional integration. In 2020 and 2021, UNHCR will strive to multiply innovative partnerships with banks that lend themselves to rural finance.
UNHCR will focus on increasing cash-based interventions from 14% in 2019 to 20% in 2020. This will diversify sectors and increase the number of beneficiaries, including those of a social network project being tested.