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.
Schools may be closed as result of the pandemic but in Dadaab camp, Teacher Amina's English lessons are going on - via radio.
Amina, a teacher in Kenya’s #Dadaab refugee camps, is giving a live English lesson to refugee and host community students at a local radio station. Radio education programmes are an alternative platform for +100,000 children there, as schools remain closed due to #COVID19. #GCR pic.twitter.com/VYPLsQKzGs— Fathiaa Abdalla (@Fathiaabdalla) March 27, 2020
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.
In eastern DRC, UNHCR turns to 📱 mobile-money as part of a cash-based intervention programme to support displaced persons while promoting physical distancing to stem the spread of #COVID19.— Le HCR en RDC (@UNHCR_DRC) April 8, 2020
5,900+ households will benefit from this assistance to respond to urgent needs. pic.twitter.com/ObBilFEa3S
Meanwhile, together with the Goverrnment, UNHCR is creating awarneness, distributing soap and intstalling handwashing stations for refugees and the internally displaced across the country.
Le HCR appuie le gouvernement pour lutter contre la pandémie du #COVID19 à travers la RDC.— Liz K Ahua (@ILYZAHUA) April 1, 2020
Des mesures preventives sont en place dans les camps de réfugiés & sites de déplacés.
📣Sensibilisation de masse
💧👏Stations de lavage des mains
🧼Distribution de savons pic.twitter.com/L8bldtshgn
Knowledge is power. Our team in Niger's Diffa region is conducting mass communication campaigns and handwashing demonstrations for all.
UNHCR offers guidance and fact-based information on #COVID19 prevention measures.— UNHCR Niger (@UNHCRNiger) April 1, 2020
In Diffa region, this is done through mass communication campaigns for refugees, IDPs and locals:
🔊 Public criers
And#handwashing demonstrations pic.twitter.com/aHtIgIMFMa
Our colleagues in Somalia have ramped up support for recently displaced people by including essential personal hygiene supplies in the distribution.
In #Dolow, @UNHCRSom is on a week long distribution of family essentials kits to internally displaced people affected by the recent conflict in Belethawa District. Amidst the #COVID19 scare, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure our beneficiaries are protected pic.twitter.com/qtEmDBThzl— UNHCRSomalia (@UNHCRSom) April 1, 2020
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.
#COVID19 awareness is a race against time. We need to protect #IDPs.— UNHCR in Sudan (@UNHCRinSudan) April 1, 2020
“We knew about the disease, but this was very practical. I now know how to wash my hands” – Naviesa (w/daughter Ensaf) in ElGeneina, #Darfur. “It’s fun”.
🎵 on!#WashYourHands #ForSudan
Video @AnaBiurrun pic.twitter.com/qWxlmI4lFU
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.
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!
How are #refugees helping stop the spread of #COVID19?— Nhial Deng (@NhialGD) April 1, 2020
In #Kakuma, @designer_samir is producing and supplying free handmade kitenge masks to 1000 vulnerable individuals from the refugee communities and host community in #Kakuma and #Kalobeyei.@SedaKuzucu3 @UNHCR_Kenya pic.twitter.com/L3TnUd2h4o
And Burundian entrepreneur Innocent, who makes soap in the camp, has increased production and lowwered prices to meet the demand for handwash soap.
Great visit with Innocent, entrepreneur refugee #Kakuma refugee camp who is accelerating his soap production business to meet the demands for handwashing soap. Playing an important role to prevent Covid-19. Quality soap with homegrown organic aloe vera #madeinkakuma @UNHCR_Kenya pic.twitter.com/Smrd8Z4zc8— Kahin Ismail (@kahin_ismail) April 1, 2020
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.
Our response in Maratane camp includes distribution of soap and creating awareness on how everyone can stay safe.
In Nampula 🇲🇿 #UNHCR is distributing soap 🧼 and is carrying out awareness raising meetings 🗣 on #COVID19 with the community, in efforts to reduce the risk of an outbreak in the Maratane refugee camp.— Alessandro Pasta (@AlexPasta) March 25, 2020
Handwashing with clean water is the most effective way to fight coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Mw5sKb3rB9
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.
Pretoria, South Africa
Over 600 vulnerable South Africans and refugees have received hygiene materials, thanks to faith-based organisations in Pretoria.
No-one should be left behind as we fight #COVID19. Some 660 vulnerable refugees & homeless South Africans in #Pretoria just received life essentials including hygiene items thanks to the faith-based community & @Future_Families, with UNHCR’s support. #socialcohesion pic.twitter.com/xvbJS5Pnx1— UNHCR Southern Africa (@UNHCRSouthernAF) April 14, 2020
Over 7,000 people will receive soap and hygiene products, in various locations in Somalia, in. the coming days.
In the coming days, @UNHCRSom will reach over 7,000 #refugees and asylum seekers in Bosaso, Qardo, Garowe & Galkayo with soap and hygiene materials. #UNHCR has also targeted 6 health facilities & 4 reception centers with hand-washing stations 2 help curb the spread of #Covid_19 https://t.co/H1ZXh9NJcv— UNHCRSomalia (@UNHCRSom) April 14, 2020