Cameroon Begins Pilot to Issue 6k Biometric ID Cards to CAR Refugees

Authorities in Cameroon have launched a project that seeks to deliver biometric identity cards to refugees from its eastern neighbor, the Central African Republic (CAR), and updated two other digital ID projects.

The pilot phase of the refugee project was launched this past week in Cameroon’s East Region and will see the issuance of 6,000 biometrics-based IDs to refugees living in camps there.

East Region Governor Gregoire Mvongo, who chaired a ceremony in the town of Mandjo to launch the project, said the issuance of the cards is not only meant to accord legal identity to the displaced persons, but to facilitate the process for their socio-economic integration. The cards will, among other things, enable holders to open and run bank accounts, and to circulate freely within the country.

During the ceremony, a first batch of the cards was handed to beneficiaries.

After the pilot that will run for the next few months, the issuance of the IDs will continue for other refugees. The project is implemented by the government of Cameroon in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, with some financing from the World Bank, according to the External Relations Ministry.

Cameroon is host to over 300,000 CAR refugees hosted mostly in the country’s East and Far North regions. The Centre and Littoral Regions host smaller populations.