Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2017, 16:28 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2000 - Gambia

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 1 June 2000
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2000 - Gambia , 1 June 2000, available at: [accessed 16 December 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.


Gambia hosted approximately 25,000 refugees at the end of 1999, including nearly 10,000 from Sierra Leone, as many as 5,000 from Senegal, nearly 1,000 from Guinea-Bissau, and approximately 10,000 from various other countries.

Refugees from Sierra Leone

About 2,000 new Sierra Leonean refugees fled to Gambia during 1999 because of the ongoing civil war in Sierra Leone.

The vast majority of the refugee population resided in villages and urban areas of Gambia. Only a fraction lived at a designated refugee camp, where the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided food, health care, primary school education, and vocational training.

Refugees from Senegal and Guinea-Bissau

Most of the estimated 5,000 Senegalese refugees in Gambia at the end of 1999 arrived during late 1997 and the first half of 1998. They fled to escape an outbreak of violence in the southern Senegal region of Casamance.

About 100 refugees returned to Senegal with UNHCR assistance during 1999. Many more may have returned home on their own.

Most Senegalese refugees who remained in Gambia supported themselves in border villages or in urban areas. Fewer than 1,000 resided in four refugee camps.

Approximately 1,000 refugees from Guinea-Bissau fled to Gambia in 1998 to escape an outbreak of military violence in their country. About 250 returned home during 1999 with UNHCR assistance. Others may have repatriated on their own.

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