BY DAYO ADESULU
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has drawn global attention of the worrisome upward trends of COVID-19 issues across various parts of Africa.
In a release, it draws the attention of the world to the increasingly desperate situation of forcibly displaced people affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.
- While the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak remains in the United States and Western Europe, WHO has reported worrying upward trends in various parts of Africa, the Americas, and Eastern Europe, without a concentrated outbreak so far in refugee and internally displaced camps and settlements.
- As of 20 April 2020, UNHCR estimated that 167 States have partially or fully closed their borders to contain the spread of the virus. 57 of these states are making no exception for people seeking asylum.
- UNHCR issued a press release drawing attention to the increasingly desperate situation of forcibly displaced people affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.
- Since the end of March, UNHCR has disbursed $30 million in cash assistance, including advanced payments, to enable refugees, internally displaced people and other persons of concern to cope with the adverse economic impact of COVID-19.
- UNHCR is supporting national health authorities by providing additional isolation units, which have allowed to include specific areas for triage, the storage of medical equipment or changing rooms for doctors. To date, more than 2,100 refugee housing units have been provided for use as isolation units in 60 locations throughout the Americas. Plans are in the works to provide 1,000 additional units.
- UNHCR contributed substantively to the latest report of the Secretary-General “Covid-19 and human rights, we are all in this together” launched on 23 April.