Since 2014, Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon have continued to wreak havoc in the Lake Chad Basin region, forcing thousands to seek refuge in the country's Far North region. Nearly 89,000 Nigerian refugees, 238,099 internally displaced people and 83,141 returnees live here.
Attacks by armed groups in the Far North have created urgent needs, particularly among women and girls. Limited resources make it difficult to meet the needs of the growing number of displaced people in the region where 2.6 million people are food insecure. Around 1.5 million of them are children.
Many people have lost their civil documentation, and are therefore restricted in their movements. Nearly 36 per cent of school-aged children in the most affected areas do not possess birth certificates, limiting their chances of completing their education.
In the English speaking South West and North West regions of Cameroon, a new crisis started in 2016. It escalated in October 2017, leading to the displacement of over 200, 000 people and around 40,000 Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria.
People we helped in Cameroon in 2017
In response to the needs of people fleeing their homes in the Lake Chad Basin area, we opened a country office in April of 2017. Since then, we have responded to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable, displaced people in the Far North region. We opened an office in the South West Region in June 2018.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
We identifychallenges related to civil documentation and provide free information, counselling and legal assistance to displaced and returnee populations. Our teams:
visit communities to register cases and counsel displaced people who lack identity documents and birth certificates
organise group information sessions
support displaced people who encounteradministrative hurdles in accessing civil documentation
support registrar’soffices with birth certificate registers to facilitate the transcription of birth certificate records
We alsoconducted a study on Housing, land and property (HLP) in the region, where our experts are:
visiting communities to register HLP related cases and counsel displaced people on their HLP rights
training the humanitarian NGOs on HLP rights as cross cutting issues
training the local authorities on HLP rights and Collaborative Dispute Resolution
Shelter and settlements
The increasing number of displaced people has created great need for shelter. We work to ensure thatdisplaced peopleand returnees have dignified shelters for physical protection. Our teams:
distributemosquito nets, blankets, sleeping mats, and tools for farming
provideemergency shelters for displaced populations in informal settings during acute phases of an emergency
provide material supportwhile constructingpermanent shelters for returnees whose homes were destroyed during the conflict
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
We support local authorities in operating and maintaining water systems that provide drinking water. Our teams:
distribute hygiene kits including items like soap and cloth for filtering water.
repair broken boreholes and construct new ones
train and support Water Management Committees
support councils with spare parts and borehole maintenance toolkits
construct emergency and family latrines
conduct hygiene promotion activities
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
About NRC in (country)
Contact NRC Cameroon
Country directorDavid Manan
Why you should care about the Lake Chad crisis
Dependent on aid, neglected and affected by climate change and conflict. Millions of people are fighting a daily battle to survive in northeastern Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon - the four countries that surround Lake Chad.
11 million people need urgent aid in Lake Chad region
Eleven international organisations call for increased protection and support to civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict in the Lake Chad region.
Stabilisation in the Lake Chad Basin: A Humanitarian Perspective
The international community, donors and governments attending the High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Basin (Oslo II) must draw clear lines to distinguish humanitarian aid from the political and military elements of stabilisation, and reaffirm commitments to meet humanitarian needs and ensure the protection of civilians.