- Cameroon currently has 652,967 people of concern, including 247,777 Central African refugees and 90,728 Nigerian refugees.
- Meeting of the Technical Working Group for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon, in Yola, Nigeria.
- A two-day workshop on ‘Targeting Strategy for Assistance for Central African Refugees in Cameroon’ took place in Yaounde.
A two-day workshop on ‘Targeting Strategy for Assistance for Central African Refugees in Cameroon’ took place in Yaounde from 29-30 November 2017. The workshop was intended for UNHCR and WFP staff as well as key donor representatives. It follows on from the joint UNHCR / WFP Targeting Consultation in Budapest on 21-22 November 2017. The objective of the workshop was to agree on a targeting approach based on socio-economic vulnerability rather than status and on the implementation strategy for 2018. The two agencies are planning to work together on a joint basic needs and food security assessment approach; the targeting methodology will therefore apply to both food and non-food assistance, whether delivered through cash or in-kind transfer modalities. In addition, the workshop saw the participation of the American University of Beirut (AUB) who has been supporting UNHCR and WFP in the econometric analysis of existing data, in order to assess the food security status and socio-economic vulnerability of the Central African refugees who currently receive assistance. AUB proposed a methodology and their preliminary analysis of the data, which will inform the formulation of the UNHCR-WFP joint targeting strategy. This will enable the two agencies to progress towards a common understanding of the definition of vulnerability in the context of Cameroon and to agree upon eligibility criteria.
Within the framework of the implementation of the Tripartite Agreement on the Voluntary Repatriation of Nigerian Refugees living in Cameroon, signed on 2 March 2017 by UNHCR and the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria and in line with the recommendations of the Repatriation Action Plan adopted on 10 August 2017, a meeting of the Technical Working Group was held in Yola from 27 November to 1 December 2017. During the meeting, the Working Group also conducted an evaluation of return conditions in Mubi and the town of Yola. It was noted that security conditions had considerably improved in Adamawa State and that return in safety and dignity is possible to most areas. In parallel to the Technical Working group meeting, a “Go and See” visit was organised for three refugee leaders from Minawao camp. The visit was designed to give the refugees the opportunity to assess for themselves the situation in return areas of Adamawa State, so as to enable them to provide information to other refugees from that area living in Minawao camp. The date of the first repatriation movement has been tentatively scheduled for 8 February 2018 should all required conditions be in place and responsibilites on all sides undertaken.
On 24 November 2017, UNHCR carried out a mission to Kolofata following an alert received about the movement of 80 Nigerians coming from Assigashia (department of Mayo-Tsanaga) and stating their wish to return to Pulka, Nigeria, by their own means. They were briefly stopped along the way by military forces, but were thereafter allowed to continue, however, away from the direction of Pulka. It was in Kerawa (department of Mayo-Sava) that the group was stopped again, before being escorted by the Cameroonian army to the border on 23 November, where they were reportedly taken by the Nigerian army to the IDP site in Banki as the security situation in Pulka is too unstable. UNHCR has requested that authorities provide the list of those taken to Banki so that they can be identified as they may have been registered during UNHCR’s registration exercise in Mayo Tsanaga a few months ago.
UNHCR's Representative in Cameroon, opened a new office in Touboro (North region) on 1 November. Touboro has registered nearly 7,000 new Central African refugees in 2017, adding to more than 12,000 already present since 2014. The opening of this new office is justified by the need for UNHCR to provide assistance closer to its main beneficiaries who were previously being assisted by the UNHCR office in Meiganga.