Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 16:02 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Benin

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 25 May 2004
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Benin , 25 May 2004, available at: [accessed 17 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Benin hosted nearly 5,000 refugees at the end of 2003, including more than 1,000 from Togo, some 1,000 from Congo-Brazzaville, nearly 1,000 from Congo-Kinshasa, and about 2,000 from other countries.

Refugees from Togo

More than 1,000 Togolese refugees lived in Benin at the end of 2003, including several hundred who arrived during the year. Several thousand additional unregistered Togolese refugees remained in the country, according to various estimates.

Most Togolese refugees fled to Benin in 1993 amid an influx of up to 150,000 people who were trying to escape the Togolese government's violent crackdown against democratic reforms. Most Togolese repatriated in 1997.

The majority of Togolese refugees resided in urban centers, primarily Porto Novo, Ouidah, Comè, and Cotonou, the capital. More than half of the Togolese refugee population continued to live in Kpomasse refugee camp, 25 miles (45 km) west of Cotonou.

New Arrivals

More than 1,000 new asylum seekers from various other African countries arrived in Benin during the year. Most new arrivals, including several hundred from Côte d'Ivoire and Congo-Kinshasa, joined other refugees in urban centers.

Humanitarian Assistance

More than 2,000 refugees received partial humanitarian assistance from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) during 2003.

UNHCR provided health care, education, housing, electricity, and water to residents of Kpomasse camp. As in previous years, few refugees in Kpomasse chose to participate in micro-credit, vocational training, and income-generation programs offered by UNHCR to encourage self-sufficiency.

Urban refugees UNHCR deemed in need and vulnerable received cooking utensils, water containers, and a housing allowance. Urban refugee adults had access to education assistance, income-generation programs, and basic mental health services. UNHCR also provided subsistence allowances to some urban refugees.

Several hundred ethnic Ogoni Nigerians residing in Benin continued to complain that the Beninese government and UNHCR had failed to grant them refugee status and provide them with protection from alleged mistreatment by Nigerian government agents and Beninese security officials.

Pending the results of an evaluation conducted in August 2003, UNHCR suspended a joint program it operated with the Beninese government to offer permanent integration in Benin to refugees who were unable to repatriate safely or resettle in other countries.

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