Far North Cameroon Emergency

a young girl plays jump rope surrounded by her classmates.
Refugee and host community students learn together in Gado Badzere school, eastern Cameroon.
© UNHCR/Xavier Bourgois
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Latest updates

Far North Cameroon Situation Funding Update - 2023
18-Dec-23
published
2 months ago
23 January 2023
published
1 year ago
October 2022
published
1 year ago
1 November 2022
published
1 year ago
22 April 2022
published
1 year ago
18 March 2022
published
1 year ago
March 2022
published
1 year ago
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Global Report 2022 

 

2022 Year-end population figures 

  • Refugees and asylum-seekers: 42,600 

  • IDPs: 36,300 

  • Returnees (Logone-Birni and Kousseri): 30,800 

 

2022 Situation overview 

Clashes over diminishing water resources broke out between herders, farmers and fishermen in Cameroon’s Far North region on 5 December 2021, leaving 44 people dead and 112 villages burned to the ground. Within two weeks, the violence left 36,300 people internally displaced inside Cameroon and forced tens of thousands to flee into neighbouring Chad. UNHCR launched a supplementary appeal for the emergency in March 2022, seeking $59.6 million for the emergency response. 88% of registered refugees were women and children, and UNHCR’s response for the emergency prioritized child protection and the prevention of and response to gender-based violence. UNHCR’s child protection response in Chad included assistance and psychosocial support for 440 children at risk, as well as the construction of two multifunctional centres to give over 3,000 children access to community programming. In relation to the gender-based violence response in Chad, through a partnership with UNFPA, two listening centres were built, and 100% of survivors of registered gender-based violence cases were supported with medical, psychosocial and protection services. As many people either lost their identity documents while fleeing or never possessed any, civil documentation was another key component of the protection response. In Far North Cameroon the issuance of 3,850 apparent age certificates was supported, as an alternative civil documentation in the absence of a birth certificate; information on 3,200 individuals was shared for inscription in the civil register; and 502 identity cards were issued. To further social cohesion and peaceful coexistence, and mitigate intercommunal tensions that sparked the conflict in Far North Cameroon, UNHCR supported mass sensitization campaigns, and established 62 committees for peace and social cohesion with the support of partners and local authorities. 

Shelter, access to water, education, food security and livelihoods support were also key aspects of the response. In Chad, arriving refugees initially settled in 39 spontaneous sites. Following the decision of the Government of Chad to establish formal sites for the new arrivals, UNHCR coordinated with national authorities to create and manage two camps with a combined capacity of 12,000 people. UNHCR provided 2,048 semi-durable shelters, installed 40 boreholes, and constructed 828 latrines and 816 showers. In Cameroon, UNHCR coordinated the shelter response with support from IOM to provide core relief items to benefit almost 8,000 people and rehabilitated 914 shelters. In line with the Global Compact on Refugees UNHCR also provided targeted assistance to out-of-camp refugees to reduce any negative impact and expand the benefits of the response to host communities. To improve access to education for refugees in Chad, UNHCR installed 44 temporary learning spaces and trained 100 teachers – including 60 refugee teachers – to benefit more than 3,200 refugee children and 1,400 Chadian children from the host community. 

In Chad, UNHCR led and coordinated the refugee response in line with the Refugee Coordination Model, designating an Emergency Coordinator and supporting the launch of a Refugee Response Plan in parallel with a Humanitarian Response Plan to ensure good inter-agency coordination. In Cameroon, UNHCR led the Shelter, Camp Coordination and Camp Management and Protection sectors for the IDP response. Unfortunately, underfunding to UNHCR and inter-agency partners for the emergency meant that not all the needs for displaced Cameroonians could be addressed, and food security was perhaps the area most negatively impacted, especially due to funding shortages for WFP. In Chad the impact of severe inflation, a fuel crisis and an increase in cereal prices caused by the war in Ukraine only worsened an already precarious situation. UNHCR’s response contributed to a calming of tensions and an overall improvement in the situation. By the end of 2022, 30,800 refugees had spontaneously returned from Chad or had expressed their intention to return, enabling UNHCR to pivot towards durable solutions by planning assistance for voluntary returns, and reintegration support for returnees.   

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Countries affected