An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Cameroon.


An overview of how the Global Compact on Refugees is being turned into action in Cameroon.

A couple from Central African Republic (CAR) celebrate their wedding, along with 20 other refugee and Cameroonian couples, officiated by the mayor of Kentzou. Local authorities are undertaking to provide essential documentation to as many people as possible.

Content of this page:
1. Description of the refugee situation
2. Cameroon's response to the refugee situation
3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact


1. Description of refugee situation

Where does the population of concern live?

Mostly in rural settings.

Population of concern category 



CAR refugees

Settlements (rural)


Nigerian refugees

Camp (rural)


Urban refugees

Urban setting


Asylum seekers

Rural and urban settings


IDPs - Far North



IDPs - North West & South West

Urban and rural








* as of November 2019.

Find live data, information and fact sheets on the refugee situation in Cameroon on the UNHCR Operational Portal as well as Global Focus.

2. Cameroon's response to the refugee situation

An overview of how the Government has structured its ability to respond to the refugee situation, with the support of partners.

At the national level, an inter-ministerial working group has been set up to monitor the objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees. This group is coordinated by the Ministry of External Relations and brings together not only official administrations involved in managing the refugee situation, but also civil society actors and the private sector.

In addition, the Government is seeking to include refugees in its socio-economic planning mechanisms through tow mechanisms: at national level, through the ongoing National Post-DSCE Strategy; and at local level through the council development plans of refugee-hosting municipalities that have been reviewed in 2018-2019 and in which refugees and host community priority needs are integrated.

Partners involved:

Line Ministries:  

  • Ministry of External Relations
  • Ministry of Territorial Administration
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development
  • Ministry of Public Health
  • Ministry of Women’s Empowerment
  • Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Ministry of Basic Education
  • Ministry of Secondary Education
  • Ministry of Higher Education
  • Ministry of Water and Energy
  • Ministry of Youth and Civic Education
  • Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries
  • Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training

Government Institutions/Bodies:  

  • Technical Secretariat of the Managing Organs for Refugee Status
  • General Delegation for National Security
  • National Employment Fund
  • The National Civil Status Registration Office (BUNEC)

UN Agencies:  

  • WFP
  •  WHO 
  • UNFPA 
  • UN Women 
  • PUNV
  • RCO
  • FAO
  • IOM
  • ILO
  • UNDP 

National NGOs :

  • Public Concern

International NGO:  

  • Action Against Hunger (ACF) 
  • Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) 
  • Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA)
  • African Initiatives for Relief and Development (AIRD)
  •  Agence pour le Développment Economique et Social (ADES) 
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
  • IEDA Relief
  • Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
  • International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) 
  • International Medical Corps (IMC) 
  • Intersos 
  • Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS)
  • Lutheran World Federation (LWF) 
  • Plan International
  • Première Urgence - Internationale (PUI) 
  • ICRC 

Which partnerships have been strengthened or have been made possible thanks to the implementation of the Global Compact of Refugees?

The Global Compact on Refugees has enhanced the need and willingness of actors to act in synergy in order to ease the burden of Cameroon as host country. To this end, the Cameroonian Government has made important commitments in the areas of health, education, economic inclusion and employment, and towards the prevention of statelessness. The Government seeks to integrate refugees in its socio-economic development plans, on par with nationals.

The implementation of the GCR made it possible to capitalize on the actions undertaken in the various sectors and the different administrations, through the establishment of an inter-ministerial coordination structure.. In addition, the triple nexus, involving humanitarian, development and peacebuilding projects and interventions - gradually takes shape, bringing together humanitarian, development actors and the private sector. 

The UN Country Team has set up a Humanitarian – Development- Peace Nexus task force that is working on the development of collective outcomes and activities. The task force includes ministries, donors, UN Agencies national and international NGOs, civil society, and development actors.

3. Steps towards meeting the objectives of the Compact

Here’s a summary of how partnerships working in education, livelihoods, health and social inclusion have already transformed the lives of refugees and their hosts. 

Objective 1, Easing Pressure on Host Country: Efforts are underway to set up community infrastructure and enhance public services (health, education, justice, etc…) in refugee-hosting areas that are feeling the impact of the presence of refugees. For example, the Garoua-Boulai District Hospital in the East region was recently renovated and additional wards were constructed to be able to accommodate refugees who are now using its medical facilities. Similarly, education infrastructures are constructed and rehabilitated for the benefit of refugees and host communities. For example, seventeen classrooms were rehabilitated in the public schools in the divisions of Logone and Chari, Mayo Sava and Mayo Tsanaga in the Far North region. In the same region, sewage basins were constructed for the water supply for both communities. Cash-based initiatives to support both refugees and vulnerable members of the local population were also set up, which included awareness sessions on the management of such projects, such as a session on sustainable and harmonious management of water points, a factor of peaceful coexistence between refugees and locals.

Objective 2, Enhancing Self Reliance of Refugees: Refugees are included the National Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP), and the ILO and UNHCR are working with the National Employment Fund (NEF) to give refugees the same employment opportunities as nationals. Initiatives to promote economic inclusion of refugees are under, especially in value chain agriculture. To this end, partnerships have been struck the private sector MaisCam and with small scale businesses such as FRUITCAM.  A two-year partnership has been set up between UNHCR and the local microfinance institution “Credit du Sahel” to grant loans and other banking services, to 500 refugees and host communities.

Objective 3, Expanding Access to Third-Country solutions: The number of refugees in need of a ‘third country solution’ will always be far beyond resettlement capacity. In 2019, UNHCR estimated that there were over 27,000 refugees in need of resettlement in Cameroon, which is estimated to increase to about 31,000 in 2020.  The resettlement quota for Cameroon in in 2018 and 2019 was 600 persons. Efforts are underway to explore possibilities under Complementary Pathways such as educational opportunities and resettlement country sponsorship programmes. As of end of October 2019, 90 refugees had departed for resettlement countries, 83 for Canada, 6 to Sweden and one person to Finland.

Pledges and contributions made by Cameroon

Pledges and contributions dashboard (interactive by Area of Focus)

This dashboard includes all pledges and contributions made towards the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in Cameroon, including national pledges made by the Government of Cameroon itself.