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NRC in Cameroon

NRC started activities in Cameroon in April 2017 to assist people displaced by the armed group Boko Haram


Total # of refugees from the country:
21 302
Total # of refugees to the country:
378 666
Total # of internally displaced:
177 000
New refugees from the country in 2016:
1 174
New refugees to the country in 2016:
43 701
New internally displaced in 2016:
83 000
Source: UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The figures are from the beginning of 2017.

Humanitarian and political background

After Nigeria, Cameroon is the country most affected by Boko Haram violence in the Lake Chad Basin. Close to 90,700 Nigerian refugees and more than 235,000 Cameroonians are affected by the conflict in the country’s Far North region.

Attacks and looting by Boko Haram have created urgent needs among civilians, particularly women and girls, and serious protection issues.

Cameroon’s infrastructure struggles to meet the needs of an increasing number of displaced people. As more continue to arrive in the Mayo Tsanaga, Mayo Sava, and the Logone et Chari divisions, there is a growing need for water, sanitation, hygiene facilities, shelter, food, and education.

Most of the internally displaced Cameroonians in the Far North region have sought refuge in host communities, where they must share limited resources. As a result, there is an urgent need for food, shelter and legal support.

The conflict creates a myriad of risks: separation from family members, forced recruitment, arbitrary detention, indoctrination, and sexual and economic exploitation. Gender-based violence (SGBV) and harmful cultural practices, such as early child marriage, are also protection concerns.

NRC’s operation

We provide emergency assistance to displaced people in the three most affected divisions in Cameroon’s Far North region: Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga, and Logone & Chari.

As the operation evolves, we plan to expand our programming to also include education activities as well as livelihoods and food security activities. We aim to expand to in the eastern part of the country, where the focus is primarily on linking humanitarian assistance with early and long-term NRC is also planning to participate in the Rapid Response Mechanism in 2018, where we will lead efforts for better coordination and stronger advocacy at the national and regional levels.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)

NRC supports local authorities in operating and maintaining water systems that provide drinking water for displaced people and host communities.

We strive to: 

  • provide safe water management
  • repair broken boreholes
  • supply clean water where it’s needed the most
  • construct emergency and family latrines


The increasing number of displaced people has created great needs for shelter.

We aim to:

  • distribute emergency shelter kits and household items, like cooking equipment 
  • provide transitional shelters with a more long-term view

Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

We’re identifying challenges related to civil documentation and house, land, and property issues.

Our legal teams work to:

  • visit communities to register cases and counsel displaced people who lack identity documents and birth certificates
  • support displaced people with administrative hurdles to their access to identity documentation and civil documentation

About NRC in Cameroon

International staff
Country office
Budget 2017
20 mill NOK
National staff