Read caption Minette, 38, and her family fled from Manyu and sought safety in Buea after their home was burnt down. They have received some plastic sheeting and utensils from NRC, and they have built a temporary kitchen at their new place in Buea. Photo: Tiril Skarstein/NRC

NRC in Cameroon

NRC started activities in Cameroon in April 2017 and is currently responding to three humanitarian crises simultaneously.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2019.

Humanitarian overview

2019 marked ten years of violence and insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin region. Since 2014, attacks have continued to wreak havoc, forcing mass displacements in Cameroon’s Far North region. As of August 2019, 107,000 Nigerian refugees, 270,000 internally displaced people and 110,000 returnees were living here.

These attacks have led to acute needs. Limited resources make it difficult to meet the needs of the 1.9 million displaced people in the region. Many people have lost their civil documentation. Nearly 36 per cent of school-aged children do not possess birth certificates, limiting their chances of completing their education.

In the South West and North West regions an internal crisis has been raging since 2016. It escalated in October 2017, leading to the internal displacement of 679,000 people and around 35,000 Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria.

290,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) call the East and North regions of Cameroon home. Having arrived in 2014/2015, over 70 per cent of these refugees live in host communities. 3,300 others returned to CAR voluntarily in late 2019 following a Tripartite agreement between Cameroon, CAR and UNHCR. 

People we helped in Cameroon in 2019

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC’s operation

In response to the needs of people affected by the insecurity in the Far-North region, NRC opened a country office in April 2017. Since then, we have responded to the urgent needs of displaced people and host communities in this region. We opened an office in the South West region in June 2018, a sub-office in North West region in March 2019, and we are providing emergency assistance to internally displaced populations here. We opened a sub-office in the East region in July 2019 to provide information, counselling and legal assistance to refugees from CAR.

NRC EducationEducation

We support local authorities in improving children’s access to quality education. Our teams:

  • train primary school teachers in psychosocial support
  • rehabilitate and equip classrooms destroyed during the conflict
  • distribute learning materials to teachers and school kits to children

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

We identify challenges related to civil documentation and provide free information, counselling and legal assistance to displaced people, returnees and host 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 encounter administrative hurdles in accessing civil documentation
  • support registrars' offices with birth certificate registers to facilitate the transcription of birth certificate records
  • train local entities involved in child birth registration
  • lead a working group on civil documentation, coordinating with actors to ensure collective advocacy and harmonisation of costs, tools and procedures.

We also identify challenges related to access to housing, land and property (HLP) rights for affected populations. Our teams:

  • visit communities to register HLP-related cases and counsel displaced people on their HLP rights
  • train humanitarian NGOs on HLP rights as cross-cutting issues
  • train local authorities on HLP rights and Collaborative Dispute Resolution
  • lead a working group on HLP, coordinating with actors to ensure that HLP is integrated as cross-cutting, but also provide technical support to the humanitarian community
  • we also conducted a study on housing, land and property (HLP) in the Far North region

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

The increasing number of displaced people has created great need for shelter. We work to ensure that displaced people and returnees have dignified shelters for physical protection. Our teams:

  • distribute mosquito nets, blankets, sleeping mats, and tools for farming
  • provide emergency shelters for displaced populations in informal settings during acute phases of an emergency
  • provide material support while constructing permanent shelters for returnees whose homes were destroyed during the conflict

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)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.
  • distribute menstrual hygiene kits to women and girls
  • distribute waste bins in schools
  • repair broken boreholes and construct new ones
  • train and support Water Management Committees
  • support councils with spare parts and borehole maintenance toolkits
  • construct emergency institutional and family latrines
  • conduct hygiene promotion activities including cholera prevention
  • distribute chlorine to health districts in cholera affected areas


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

We provide assistance to displaced people, those who return home and the host populations, to improve their food security and revive their livelihoods. Our teams:

  • distribute cash so that displaced people can access food
  • conduct market monitoring surveys
  • distribute small livestock, seeds and agricultural inputs
  • train women’s groups in Income Generating Activities and provide them with cash grants for start-up of activities
  • train women in food processing techniques
  • train men and women in improved agricultural techniques and in food processing
NRC Cameroon is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
  • Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)
  • French Development Agency (AFD)
  • Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  • US government (USAID)
  • French government (Centre de Crises)
  • Innovation Norway

Contact NRC Cameroon

Country director

Maclean Natugasha


+237 685 135 381

About NRC in Cameroon

International staff
Areas of operations
Logone & Chari, Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga divisions in the Far North region; South West and North West regions; East region
Budget 2019
USD 7.8 million
National staff