Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Cameroon

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 10 June 2002
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2002 - Cameroon , 10 June 2002, available at: [accessed 24 January 2018]
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.

More than 30,000 refugees lived in Cameroon at the end of 2001, including nearly 30,000 from Chad and about 2,000 from various other countries.

About 5,000 refugees repatriated from Cameroon to Chad during the year.

More than 2,000 Cameroonians applied for asylum in Europe during 2001.

Refugees from Chad

Civil war and insurrections in Chad pushed waves of Chadian refugees into Cameroon during the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, safer conditions in Chad have prompted about 7,000 Chadian refugees to depart Cameroon and return home, including about 5,000 repatriations in 2001.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assisted the repatriation process by providing transportation on trucks and trains, primarily in July and August. UNHCR declined to help repatriate about 3,000 Chadians who registered for repatriation but failed to convince UNHCR that they were genuine refugees during individual interviews.

Most Chadian refugees remaining in Cameroon appeared increasingly unlikely to repatriate because they had already integrated into local communities and were self-sufficient. Most of them are unlikely to be considered refugees in future years.

Refugees from Other Countries

About 700 of the 2,000 refugees living in urban areas received food, health care, and personal-hygiene materials from UNHCR during 2001. UNHCR's budget constraints prevented the agency from providing small-business loans to 90 percent of the refugee applicants who requested loans to help support their families.

UNHCR closed its office in Cameroon at the end of 2001 because of budget problems. "It is fair to say that there are hard times ahead for refugees and asylum seekers in a country like Cameroon, where there are no reliable structures to deal with refugee matters outside of UNHCR," a UNHCR official in Cameroon asserted.

More than 90 Congolese ethnic Tutsi refugees formally departed Cameroon to resettle abroad during the year.

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