Over half of the world’s displaced persons live in urban areas of developing countries. As they settle into countries with already strained health services, urban refugees face a unique set of challenges related to accessing social and mental health services. Humanitarian policy can inadvertently exacerbate these problems. This article discusses the intersection of humanitarian policy and physical and mental wellbeing among the Rwandan urban-refugee community facing uncertain futures in Yaoundé, Cameroon, as the result of a Cessation Clause. This analysis drew from participant observation, focus groups and unstructured interviews with 30 Rwandan refugee households in Yaoundé, Cameroon, over 11 months in May–August 2016, May–August 2017 and February–June 2018. The theme of uncertain futures stemming from humanitarian policy changes as a source of anxiety about the future organically emerged from the Rwandan research participants. Our analysis highlights the need to review the impacts that global humanitarian policies have on refugees’ wellbeing and the ways in which it can erode hope.