By UNHCR – Nigeria


The leaders of Abo-Ogbagante village, Boki LGA, Cross River state, have donated a plot of land to UNHCR for the relocation of Cameroonian refugees. UNHCR site planner will assess the proposed land. Some 4,664 refugees have been registered in the Boki LGA, meanwhile Abo, which is made up of six villages including Ogbagante is presently hosting about 1000 unregistered refugees.

Among the Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria, it is noted that children (including unaccompanied minors) make up about 50 percent of the displaced population. Meanwhile women represent about 30 percent and men less than 20 percent. Hence, child protection and education are priority protection activities. The Office is finalizing a protection strategy to respond to the needs of the refugees.

UNHCR notes a shortage of food supplies and need for secondary health care for Cameroonian refugees in Akwa Ibom, Benue and Cross River states. Children under five years are mostly affected. Also, malnourished adults are unable to work for subsistence. The refugee population is growing and limited food resources among host communities are waning despite the benevolence of host communities since the onset of the influx of refugees. Refugees report that some of them are forced to move around border villages inside Nigeria in search for food. UNHCR calls on donors and partners to contribute to efforts to assist refugees with food and healthcare.

Population Movements

There were reports of continued isolated armed incidents in South West Cameroon at the end of March causing more displacements. Meanwhile, in a move to bring back peace and resolve the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, reportedly, traditional rulers and Cameroon state authorities have agreed on the creation of a commission to meet with Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria to broker peace and encourage refugees’ voluntarily return.

UNHCR has noted the presence of unregistered new refugees during protection monitoring visits to six Abo villages, Boki LGA. Some 1000 new refugees were identified and new arrivals continue. They are in urgent need of assistance in food and non-food items.

UNHCR Response

In Cross River state, as of 31 March, UNHCR’s partner Rhema-Care has distributed safe motherhood kits to 312 pregnant women. The same pregnant women have access to ante-natal care. Support was provided to 144 deliveries including 19 caesarean sections undertaken. Food supplements were provided to 391 malnourished children.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-Belgium) has completed an assessment mission to Cross River state. The health organization is seeking funds to establish three mobile medical and three mobile water, sanitation and hygiene teams to assist refugees and host communities in remote areas hosting refugees in Cross River.

In Benue, Kwande LGA, site planning continued at Anyake, where some 4000 refugees in Abande will be relocated. The Office is working with local authorities, communities and refugees to expedite the relocation as refugees are in dire need of assistance in shelter, food and health. During protection monitoring, refugees in Abande reported minor and severe health conditions that need secondary and tertiary health care. MSFHolland has committed to providing health assistance to refugees once they are relocated.

Originally published here: