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Interagency GBV and Child Protection Strategic Directions - Based on a comprehensive assessment in local government areas hosting Cameroonian refugees in Benue, Cross-river and Taraba states, Nigeria.

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1. Background to the Assessment

1.1. Conflict and displacement

The breakdown of peaceful resolution of the political conflict between the separatists groups from South West Anglophone and the Government army in the North West Regions of Cameroon had led to forced population movement from the conflict zones whereby generating waves of internally displaced person within the country and refugees that crossed the international borders into neighboring country Nigeria. The humanitarian situation in North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions of Cameroon continues to deteriorate with serious protection incidents, including excessive violence against civilian population by all parties involved in the conflict being noted. Displacement of civilians continues to increase with destruction of houses and villages by fighting parties. Impunity for crimes and acts of violence against civilians throughout the NWSW is a hallmark of the crisis.

Populations in these regions suffer from dramatic socio-economic challenges, disruption of support networks and deterioration in the living standards. More than 530,000 people have been internally displaced in the two regions, as well as in the Littoral and West Regions. Access to education is of critical concern. More than 80 per cent of schools have been closed and more than 700,000 children, representing almost 9 out of every 10 children, have been out of school for nearly three years with 80% of schools closed. 785 cases of GBV were reported in the same month (July 2019) with indications that it is on the rise.

Humanitarian access to persons in need throughout NWSW is a challenge with armed groups often blocking access as well as threatening humanitarian personnel. Thus, the conflict has generated a complex emergency situation and humanitarian crisis.

1.2. Refugees in Nigeria

As of 31st August 2019, over 42,000 persons from North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon have sought asylum in Nigeria.

Nigeria has a conducive legal framework for refugees in Nigeria, including the inclusion in national systems, willingness to include refugees in national programmes and 2 years Temporary Protection Status using a prima facie approach.

The refugees have settled in over 42 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across five States namely,
Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River (CRS), Rivers and Taraba States. Refugees are living in a vast geographic area, making it challenging to provide assistance and services to all.

▪ 51.2% of the population lives in the Adagom (11,344) and the Okende (4,774) refugee settlements in Cross-River state and in the Anyake (5,690) refugee settlement in Benue state;

▪ 6% live in urban areas (Calabar and Ikom both in Cross-River state and few in Makurdi in Benue state);

▪ 42.8% live among host communities in 36 LGAs across the five states.