Live blog: Refugees in the COVID-19 crisis

People forced to flee, UNHCR staff and supporters around the African continent are taking action to stay smart, stay safe and stay kind.

Twin sisters, Emeline and Eveline, wash their hands at a public hand washing station as a cautionary measure against the coronavirus at the Nyabugogo Bus Park in Kigali, Rwanda.
© UNHCR/Maggie Andresen

Displaced people and host communities all over the African continent are at heightened risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Here are some of the ways they – along with UNHCR staff and supporters – are taking action to stay smart, stay safe and stay kind. 


Check here throughout the day for regular updates:


In case you missed it...

On International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, refugee athletes and Olympians shared a strong message of hope with the world. Their message is simple: sports can change lives, especially in these challenging times. Many athletes, including refugees, continue to work hard towards their goals. ⁣They inspire us to do the same, to keep moving, even as we stay safe. 



Dadaab, Kenya

Schools may be closed as result of the pandemic but in Dadaab camp, Teacher Amina's English lessons are going on - via radio.

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

We are doing everything possible to safeguard displaced people in the DRC. In the east, vulnerable families are receiving cash via mobile money. 

 

Meanwhile, together with the Goverrnment, UNHCR is creating awarneness, distributing soap and intstalling handwashing stations for refugees and the internally displaced across the country.

 

Diffa, Niger

Knowledge is power. Our team in Niger's Diffa region is conducting mass communication campaigns and handwashing demonstrations for all.

 

Dolow, Somalia

Our colleagues in Somalia have ramped up support for recently displaced people by including essential personal hygiene supplies in the distribution.

 

El Geneina, Darfur, Sudan

A handwashing song takes shape in this compound in El Geneina. Everyone is doing their part to stay aware and stay safe.

 

Juba, South Sudan

Soap and informational materials have been distributed in Mahad and Don Bosco sites for the internally displaced. Handwashing points have also been set up in the sites and in refugee camps. 

  • UNHCR staffers put up posters with information on Coronavirus in Don Bosco IDP site near Juba, South Sudan.
    UNHCR staffers put up posters with information on Coronavirus in Don Bosco IDP site near Juba, South Sudan. © UNHCR/Vi Tran
  • A group of women wash their hands as they practice social distancing at the entrance of Ajuong Thok refugee camp in South Sudan.
    A group of women wash their hands as they practice social distancing at the entrance of Ajuong Thok refugee camp in South Sudan.  © UNHCR/Vi Tran
  • A group of internally displaced people read information on Coronavirus in Don Bosco IDP site near Juba, South Sudan.
    A group of internally displaced people read information on Coronavirus in Don Bosco IDP site near Juba, South Sudan.  © UNHCR/Vi Tran
  • Loaders unpack bags of plastic sheets to be distributed as part of UNHCR's COVID-19 response in Juba, South Sudan.
    Loaders unpack bags of plastic sheets to be distributed as part of UNHCR's COVID-19 response in Juba, South Sudan.  © UNHCR/Gift Friday

Kakuma camp, Kenya

This refugee youth advocate is shining a light on a refugee designer who's doing what he does best to help with the coronavirus response. He is knitting these beautiful masks and giving them out for free! 

 

And Burundian entrepreneur Innocent, who makes soap in the camp, has increased production and lowwered prices to meet the demand for handwash soap. 

 

LuQuLuQu Tribe

Our high-profile supporters from the LuquLuqu Tribe can be described in many words: cool, fun, influential, caring. They took some time to remind us that we are all in this together and made this fun video to show us how to #DoItLuQuLuQu and stay safe during this social distancing period. 

 

Nampula, Mozambique

Our response in Maratane camp includes distribution of soap and creating awareness on how everyone can stay safe. 

 

Nduta refugee camp, Tanzania

We are strengthening our communication with refugees in Tanzania to ensure they have vital information and sufficient soap to stay safe.

  • A refugee receives his increased ration of soap in Nduta camp, Tanzania.
    A refugee receives his increased ration of soap in Nduta camp, Tanzania. © UNHCR/Winnie Itaeli Kweka
  • A group of refugees read information on the coronavirus at a distribution centre in Nduta camp, Tanzania.
    A group of refugees read information on the coronavirus at a distribution centre in Nduta camp, Tanzania. © UNHCR/Winnie Itaeli Kweka
  • Refugees practice social distancing as they queue to collect soap at a distribution centre in Nduta camp,  Tanzania.
    Refugees practice social distancing as they queue to collect soap at a distribution centre in Nduta camp, Tanzania. © UNHCR/Winnie Itaeli Kweka

Pretoria, South Africa

Over 600 vulnerable South Africans and refugees have received hygiene materials, thanks to faith-based organisations in Pretoria.

 

Somalia

Over 7,000 people will receive soap and hygiene products, in various locations in Somalia, in. the coming days.