Living in 40 different locations across four states; namely, Cross River, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Taraba states, Cameroonian refugees have been arriving in Nigeria since October 2017. So far, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) has/have registered 21,291 refugees in Nigeria. Children and women constitute 77 percent of the refugee population. In Kwande Local Government Area (LGA), Benue state, there are more than 3,525 refugees living with host communities while in Abande community, some 867 registered refugees were sheltered at a school building.
The essence of this relocation exercise by UNHCR and the Nigerian Government is to ensure that the Cameroonian refugees live in safety and in respect of the international humanitarian standard that refugees stay at least 50 kilometers away from the border.
With support from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office, (ECHO), UNHCR completed the construction of a model shelter unit and upon settlement in the temporary shelters, UNHCR will provide families with a shelter took kit which includes various items to support the construction of basic shelters. Majority of the refugees live with host communities. This situation of Cameroonian refugees living amongst the host communities is placing a heavy burden on the host communities, services, and resources. With EHCO's support, many of the refugees will have a chance to live in appropriate shelters and this will contribute to restoring personal security, self-sufficiency, and dignity.
UNHCR has been working with the local community and state authorities in planning the new settlement. Over the next few months, there will be more voluntary relocations to Anyake settlement which can host some 3,000 to 4,000 Cameroonian refugees.
Tags: Cameroon refugees