Live blog: Refugees in the COVID-19 crisis
These are some of the ways that UNHCR staff, people forced to flee and supporters around the globe are taking action to stay smart, stay safe and stay kind.
UNHCR staff explain WHO guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 to Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Manaus, Brazil.
© UNHCR/Paulo Lugoboni
Displaced people and host communities all over the world 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.
***NOTE TO READERS: After nearly four weeks of daily updates, we are bringing our rolling blog to a close. We will continue to follow the COVID-19 response closely, and may pick it up again as events unfold. Thanks to you – our many readers – for checking in. We hope you are well wherever you are. Stay smart, stay safe and stay kind.***
Check here for updates throughout the day:
San Diego, California, United States
Thank you to the city of San Diego, protecting refugees. This article from The Hill (US) talks about the city of Chicago's similar smart move.
New Jersey, United States
Shout out to New Jersey, USA! The state joins New York and Nevada in recognizing the vital role immigrants, refugees and others have to play in the fight against the corona virus! We hope other states will follow their lead.
Everyone has a role to play in the fight against coronavirus.— UNHCR United States (@UNHCRUSA) April 8, 2020
That includes doctors who are refugees!
New Jersey 🇺🇸 has authorized temporary medical licenses for doctors who are licensed in foreign countries. #WithRefugees https://t.co/rBzvz4Fvnt
New York City, United States
This New Yorker, a refugee from Afganistan, is giving back to his new city.
This young refugee is working as a nurse in Kenya. Refugees are doctors, nurses, heroes.
Let me introduce Bahati!— Fathiaa Abdalla (@Fathiaabdalla) April 9, 2020
She is a graduate nurse, refugee from Rwanda, a #DAFI scholar and staff @UNHCR_Kenya. She is currently working at Kenyatta National Hospital on night shift as part of her medical internship, helping patients with #COVID19. She’s a true hero! #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/tXEVS2wM8s
Rohingya artists worked with our partner to create colorful, informative signs on COVID-19 prevention.
Rohingya artists - and our amazing partner Artolution - using their creativity to help refugees protect themselves from COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/dGmFaqGIK1— Steven Corliss (@CorlissUNHCR) April 8, 2020
Award-winning singer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Betty G shares a melodic message of solidarity with refugees and other vulnerable groups.
A selection of stories from the UK highlighting solidarity with refugees during the coronavirus crisis, with a lot of help this week arriving on two wheels.
They usually host meals to raise funds for refugees.— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 8, 2020
When coronavirus lockdown drove people indoors...
... they got on their bikes and rode. 🚴
Thanks @BearwoodAction for not letting a pandemic dampen your awe-inspiring ability to do good. https://t.co/SURZ9J7SAU
UNHCR's Dominique Hyde takes your questions on how coronavirus affects refugees and why we should all care, live on TikTok at 9:30 CEST. Check back later for a link to her responses.
How does coronavirus affect refugees and why does it matter?@DominiqueHyde goes LIVE on TikTok tomorrow 9:30 CEST to answer your questions. Follow us ➡️ https://t.co/4nKG76O96C pic.twitter.com/hKfoQv69gs— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 8, 2020
Giving back. This Venezuelan refugee in Colombia is taking care of critcally ill patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
A coronavirus reminder:— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 8, 2020
Sometimes refugees are vulnerable and in need of life-saving assistance.
Sometimes they're the ones who do the saving.
Thank you to Carolina, a Venezuelan refugee taking care of critically ill cancer patients during the COVID-19 outbreak in Colombia. pic.twitter.com/HGrIszKZ7m
This piece from the Guardian's Global Development site (UK) is worth a read. It looks at the preparations in several African countries for Covid-19.
We are supporting the government of Niger by donating 50 mini-housing structures that can be used during the coronavirus crisis.
Refugee housing units on the pitch of the national stadium in Niger?— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 8, 2020
Whatever it takes, we're in this together.
That's why our @UNHCRNiger team has donated 50 of these mini-housing structures that can be used as coronavirus isolation rooms. pic.twitter.com/QJM1sUIgp3
In case you missed it...
This story in the Guardian (UK) about a co-operative started outside of Rome by African migrants has beautiful photos and an inspiring story of resilience in the face of adversity.
Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
A striking scene at Kakuma camp in north-west Kenya, where refugees keep a safe distance while waiting for a food distribution.
You may be 'social distancing'.— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) April 8, 2020
But you're not alone.
This is from Kakuma Camp in Kenya where refugees queuing for food are adhering to social distancing standards to keep people safe from coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/RGBC7rcsLH
Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan
Zeinab, a 12-year-old Syrian refugee living in Jordan's second-largest camp, has imagined putting her Taekwondo skills to use to fight the coronavirus.
A drawing by 12-year-old Syrian refugee, Zeinab, shows how the Taekwondo enthusiast plans on fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus at Azraq camp in Jordan.— UNHCR Ireland (@UNHCRIreland) April 7, 2020
UNHCR remains on the ground ensuring the continuation of essential services such as supermarkets and health facilities in Azraq pic.twitter.com/Gtlaswr8W5
Around the world, refugees are using their skills to help the communities where they live during the coronavirus crisis. Moyehman is an Iraqi refugee nurse working 12-hour shifts in the COVID-19 quarantine ward of his local hospital.
In case you missed it...
With Spain among the countries hardest hit to date by coronavirus, Reuters reports that the owner of a holiday resort in Madrid has opened his bungalows up to some of the city's most vulnerable families, mostly Venezuelan refugees. Staff at the resort, who have temporarily been laid off during the country's shutdown, have come in to help voluntarily.
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Medicine, a "universal language." Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Kelli are an inspiration. As refugees, they understand what it means to need help, and now they are using their training to protect their community during the coronavirus pandemic. Watch this great interview.
A big thank you to Dr. Kelli and Dr. Abdullah - and to all the #HealthcareHeroes - who are helping to keep us safe through the #coronavirus pandemic and beyond. 👏🚑💗#WorldHealthDay #RefugeesWork https://t.co/9BBFSblkRI— Tent Partnership for Refugees (@TentOrg) April 7, 2020
On World Health Day, and every day, thank you to the healthcare providers!
Today on #WorldHealthDay, we are grateful to healthcare workers, caretakers and essential personnel who work tirelessly every day to protect the most vulnerable.— USA for UNHCR (@UNRefugeeAgency) April 7, 2020
Thank you! 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/CWz5qpByfJ
In case you missed it...
Driven by insecurity, widespread violence and shortages of food and medicines, more than one million Venezuelans have sought shelter in Colombia in recent years. Al Jazeera reports that some see no option now but to head home as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down the Colombian economy, leaving many unable to work or pay rent.
Flexible funds are vital to UNHCR. They allow us to kick-start emergency responses, bolster efforts in underfunded and ‘forgotten’ crises, and scale up programmes in a coordinated and efficient way. In Mauritania, the so-called 'un-earmarked funds' allowed us to scale up a public health response for refugees and the local community.
Thanks to our donors 🇨🇦 🇩🇰🇩🇪🇳🇱🇳🇴🇸🇪🇬🇧🇺🇸 of #unearmarked funding, medicines for all those benefitting from health services in #Mberra were delivered yesterday. Ensuring access to healthcare has suddenly become everyone’s top priority! #leavenonebehind pic.twitter.com/OLuG3DkgRm— Maria Stavropoulou (@ms_asylum_UNHCR) April 6, 2020
UNHCR and its partner World Vision Chile are continuing to provide support to vulnerable Venezuelan refugees and migrants throughout the COVID-19 crisis, including this mother whose daughters were twice sickened by dengue and had no option but to abandon a country without medicine.
"Decidí irme de #Venezuela por mis hijas, se enfermaron de dengue dos veces y no había medicinas".— Acnur/Unhcr Américas (@ACNURamericas) April 6, 2020
En emergencia #COVID19, las personas refugiadas y migrantes son más vulnerables. En Chile🇨🇱, con @WorldVisionCHL estamos garantizando el suministro a familias vulnerables. pic.twitter.com/pGKYfjvKVn
London, United Kingdom
Hassan Akkad fled war in Syria four years ago and found safety in the United Kingdom. Keen to give back in the COVID-19 outbreak, he joined cleaners disinfecting wards at a London hospital. Thank you Hassan.
Honoured to join an army of cleaners disinfecting Covid wards our local hospital after receiving training. London has been my home since leaving Syria, and the least I can do is making sure my neighbours and the amazing NHS staff are safe and sound. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/7XkBwSiXW8— Hassan Akkad (@hassan_akkad) April 7, 2020
Please listen to writer, news anchor and Goodwill Ambassador James Chau from The China Current (China) interview High Commissioner Filippo Grandi about Covid-19. Grandi notes the virus poses a "democratic" challenge, affecting everyone no matter where or who they are, but also highlights the difficulties "people on the move" face. In this wide ranging interview, Grandi stresses that, "We must help others because it is in our interest...but also because it is right."
#COVID19 There is nothing more noble than to serve the world’s most vulnerable people—and UN High Commissioner for @Refugees @FilippoGrandi wants everyone to survive and thrive. Listen to our interview @thechinacurrent and his plan for a safe global future https://t.co/nNfuQ7wFlw— James Chau (@jameschau) April 6, 2020
In Afghanistan, UNHCR has topped up allowances so that refugees and asylum seekers can afford to take precautions against COVID-19.
Good hygiene is key in preventing the spread of COVID19. @UNHCRAf is topping up the monthly allowance to vulnerable refugees & asylum seekers to enable them buy hygiene products over the next three months. We all have a role to play in curbing the spread of COVID19 in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/iURl5BnziG— UNHCR Afghanistan (@UNHCRAfg) April 2, 2020
In case you missed it...
This article in The Washington Post (USA) about how the United States has suspended immigration laws – including those that protect asylum seekers – in the name of the corona virus epidemic is an important reminder that we must keep our borders open to those fleeing war and persecution.
Last year, a Basque community welcomed five refugee families from Syria. As Spain battles the coronavirus, several Syrian children sketched rainbows and thank you notes for the medics risking all to save lives.
In 2019, the Basque Country opened its doors to welcome Minwer’s family, #refugees from Syria.— ACNUR España (@ACNURspain) April 5, 2020
Now, from their home, his children Adnan, Mashael and Sidra send a message of encouragement to all medical staff fighting against #COVID19 💙
Their story 👉 https://t.co/pb7b6Ekkd8 pic.twitter.com/k4rlwvmPs5
Iten, Western Kenya
Refugee athletes know what it’s like to live in crisis and how sports can help. Their advice during lockdown is to make use of opportunities that present, do what you can, and above all, 'keep on going.'
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
UNHCR and its partners are working around the clock to build an isolation and treatment centre for both refugees and the local community in south-east Bangladesh, which hosts nearly one million Rohingya refugees. They are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 as they live in overcrowded conditions. No cases of the virus have so far been reported there.
"We're in a race against time...An isolation & treatment centre will provide immediate care to 150-200 persons. Similar centres are being constructed in & around the Rohingya refugee settlements. They'll serve the @Refugees & they'll also serve the local community"@CorlissUNHCR pic.twitter.com/tYoNlrLXat— UNHCR in Bangladesh (@UNHCR_BGD) April 6, 2020
Ohio, United States
This former refugee graduated from nursing school just four months ago and now works as a registered nurse helping her home state of Ohio (U.S.) during the corona crisis.
In case you missed it...
Chinese pianist Lang Lang, a U.N. Messenger of Peace, reminds us that peace and solidarity are the keys to stopping the coronavirus pandemic. We hope listening to him play at the end of his message will bring peace into your life, wherever you are.
I am joining other @UN Messengers of Peace in supporting the appeal for a global ceasefire made by @antonioguterres.— Lang Lang (@lang_lang) April 3, 2020
It is time to focus, together, on the true fight of our lives - #COVID19.
Our joint statement: https://t.co/nvbTmGesMx pic.twitter.com/NuDAN52PVk
In Hama, Syria, our staff and partners are distributing much needed supplies to protect people from COVID-19.
Our work continues across #Syria to support displaced people, refugees, and the most vulnerable.— UNHCR Syria (@UNHCRinSYRIA) April 3, 2020
In Hama, @Unhcrinsyria and our partner Social Care Society distribute kits containing alchohol, soap, tissues, gloves and masks to protect families from the spread of #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/8tlP7B4FYe
Multinational Sony today became the first major corporation to cotntribute to UNHCR's COVID-19 appeal.
Big thanks 👏🏻 to @Sony for establishing a global relief fund worth 100 million $ to help respond to the #COVID19 pandemics, and for donating 3 million $ to UNHCR for its activities in support of affected refugees and host communities. https://t.co/iYEUcRwApk— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) April 3, 2020
In case you missed it...
A year after the latest outbreak of violence began, the humanitarian crisis in Libya is worsening. UNHCR reports that ongoing fighting and the spread of COVID-19 are significant news threats.
Distributions of food, jerry cans and soap are underway to curb potential COVID-19 outbreaks in camps in Kenya, which is the second biggest refugee-hosting country in Africa after Ethiopia.
Since UNHCR ramped up direct cash assistance in 2016, it now accounts for a greater share of our assistance than traditional in-kind aid. Disbursements are ongoing in Syria during the COVID-19 pandemic, with staff observing social distancing rules.
Staying and delivering! UNCHR teams continue much-needed cash assistance to refugees & taking the measures to ensure the safety of all during #COVID.— UNHCR Syria (@UNHCRinSYRIA) April 2, 2020
In Damascus, distributions are staggered & spacing put in place at reception centre.
In coastal areas, our teams go door to door pic.twitter.com/ilxgRDwHZx
This refugee living in Minnesota, USA, founded a company that makes bracelets, beanies and more from recycled lifejackets worn by refugees during dangerous sea crossings. His company, Epimonia, is teaming up with USA for UNHCR to raise awareness and funds for refugees during the coronavirus pandemic.
Looking for a way to help #refugees during the coronavirus crisis? #ThursdayThoughts@Epimoniamn is teaming up with organizations that are helping to prevent the spread of #COVID19 in refugee camps. Learn more! ⬇⬇⬇https://t.co/h1rWuOdp4r— USA for UNHCR (@UNRefugeeAgency) April 2, 2020
A lot of positive reactions to Portugal's decision to temporarily grant full citizenship rights to all migrants and asylum seekers, giving them access to the country's health-care system during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mary Robinson: “As #COVID19 highlights our common vulnerabilities, #Portugal’s decision to grant temporary citizenship to migrants so they can access urgent healthcare is a bold and welcome act of global leadership..." 1/2 https://t.co/ISR3VjUVY8— The Elders (@TheElders) March 31, 2020
Here's what life is like for Syrian refugees under lockdown in the region's largest camp.
Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Business is brisk for a young entrepreneur in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp, where increased demand for hand soap has seen him boost production of his aloe vera-based products.
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
Kharaz Refugee Camp, Yemen
In Yemen, which is already suffering the world's largest humanitarian crisis, our colleagues are also helping refugees in the country protect themselves from the threat of the coronavirus.
#COVID19 preparedness in Kharaz refugee camp in southern Yemen:— Jean-Nicolas Beuze (@jnbeuze) March 31, 2020
• hygiene kits & soaps distributions
• training on safe behavior
• identification of most at-risk refugees
• local mechanisms to alert & deal w/ suspected cases#PreventionOverPanic thanks to 🇺🇸🇯🇵🇪🇺🇸🇦🇰🇼🇦🇪🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/C04hFTA2e2
In case you missed it...
Many refugees in Australia who are trained healthcare workers are asking their host country to let them join the battle against COVID-19. This article from SBS News (Australia) highlights their efforts to have their qualifications fast tracked so they can do their jobs now, when the country needs them.
Our staff and partners are supplying soap and other supplies in Niger – together we are working to keep everyone safe from coronavirus.
When #COVID19 strengthens peaceful coexistence ✊🏾— UNHCR Niger (@UNHCRNiger) March 31, 2020
The 846 people living in the humanitarian center #Agadez received soap and water. @UNHCRNiger and @apbe_official equipped the regional hospital, mother and children health center and Mai Adoua village 🇳🇪#strongtogether pic.twitter.com/yrkfc61UdD
Phone, email, text – our staff is staying connected from a safe distance!
“We try to give the best possible help to internally displaced people”— Giovanni Bassu (@gbassu) April 1, 2020
Via e-mail 📩
In #ElSalvador @Refugees stays & delivers support to people forced to flee violence + persecution, even during #COVID19 #quarantine pic.twitter.com/ofvdABZEBn
Westfield, New Jersey, United States
Who inspires you during this difficult time? Add these heroes to your list!
“Now we have to give back to the hand that gave us a lot in the beginning." #ThursdayThoughts— USA for UNHCR (@UNRefugeeAgency) April 1, 2020
As the coronavirus crisis continues, resettled #refugees are helping the Westfield Fun Club in NJ deliver groceries to vulnerable people in their community.https://t.co/boWuNs74aJ
"The worst of crises requires the best of humanity."
Watch High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi's emergency coronavirus appeal. We know everyone must care for their own family and friends first during these uncertain and stressful times. But please consider donating if you can.
El Geneina, Darfur, Sudan
Time to wash hands – and many of you may even learn a new song to sing while doing it!
Time to wash hands in
#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
If you're stuck at home and finding it hard to get enough exercise, why not try UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and Olympian Yusra Mardini's one-minute workout?
In the camps in northwest Tanzania, which host most of the country's 325,000 refugees, residents have been receiving soap and information on how to protect themselves from the virus.
San Francisco, Ecuador
In a remote corner of Ecuador, a young Venezuelan doctor called Samuel has been visiting isolated communities to teach elderly locals and refugees most at risk from COVID-19 how to protect themselves against the virus.
UNHCR High Profile Supporter Kat Graham is the latest to take up the World Health Organization's #SafeHands challenge, after being nominated by our own Dominique Hyde.
One of UNHCR's partners in Iran has brought together female Afghan refugees and women from the local community to produce face masks for doctors and nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.
#Refugees and Iranian women join the fight against #COVID19 in #Iran with partner HAMI (Association for the Protection of Afghan Women & Children) producing masks to help doctors & nurses stay safe.— Ivo Freijsen (@IFreijsen) March 31, 2020
UNHCR is committed to supporting health workers selflessly caring for patients. pic.twitter.com/o1FkSDpdDc
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
How do you self-isolate if your family shares a single tent in a crowded refugee settlement? UNHCR colleagues in Lebanon have thought about the problem and launched a project to build isolation units inside refugee settlements around the country.
Gulan settlement, Khost Province, Afghanistan
Our colleagues in Afghanistan are raising awareness about COVID-19 and providing soap to 3,500 families. There is much more work to do, but we are thankful to all of the refugees and partners working with us.
@UNHCRAfg awareness raising campaign & distribution of soap to 3,500 families has started in the Gulan settlement in Khost Province 🇦🇫. We plan to expand efforts to other communities of the province soon #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/YmdzZppKDc— UNHCR Afghanistan (@UNHCRAfg) March 31, 2020
Please take a look at our latest statement on the COVID-19 crisis and how we are responding to protect refugees and their host communities, internally displaced and people who are stateless. We need everyone's support to keep everyone safe.
Refugees, displaced people and communities hosting them are very vulnerable to #COVID19. UNHCR is asking donors to support existing aid programmes and contribute additional US$ 255m to support government responses in countries with displaced populations. https://t.co/QK25b6EP5X— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) March 31, 2020
Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
Beauty and function. Refugee artists and tailors in Kenya's Kakuma camp are joining together to produce these colorful masks.
Refugee artisans and tailors in Kenya's #Kakuma camp have started to produce kitenge masks to show their commitment and #solidarity as part of the society. These masks will soon provide additional protection to help prevent the spread of #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/WHAbgE59Ed— Fathiaa Abdalla (@Fathiaabdalla) March 31, 2020
In case you missed it...
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees at the world’s largest refugee settlement are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 as they live in overcrowded conditions. This Al Jazeera story argues that current restrictions on mobile communications in the settlements in Bangladesh make it more difficult for them to receive and share vital information on how to prevent transmission.
Boa Vista, Brazil
COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, and neither does UNHCR. In Brazil’s northern Roraima state, our staff are setting up a field medical centre that will provide treatment for Brazilians as well as refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
El trabajo para contener el #coronavirus no se detiene.💪🏽— Acnur/Unhcr Américas (@ACNURamericas) March 30, 2020
En Boa Vista, Brasil🇧🇷, los equipos de ACNUR están apoyando la construcción de un centro de salud con @OpAcolhida donde se atenderá a refugiados, migrantes y brasileños. pic.twitter.com/kvF5ZtSC7a
Nduta camp in northwest Tanzania is home to 75,000 refugees from Burundi. Steps setting out how to protect against COVID-19 are displayed on noticeboards.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Officials in Malaysia said they will not punish people who come forward for COVID-19 testing, no matter what their citizenship status. Including refugees and stateless people in COVID-19 prevention and care is smart, safe and kind.
Including refugees and the stateless in COVID-19 testing - regardless of their legal status - is just good policy in these challenging times. https://t.co/yNGW6rzCV6— Tim Gaynor (@timejgaynor) March 31, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in Italy, one organization founded by a former refugee is helping newly arrived refugees in the city of Turin. The organization delivered food, diapers, feminine hygiene items and more to help people during lockdown.
In Germany, migrants step up to fill a potential shortage of medical workers.
Wow!— Atom Araullo (@atomaraullo) March 28, 2020
“Five years ago the arrival of a wave of refugees caused much consternation and fuelled support for Germany’s far-right. Now, the country is turning to its migrant community to plug an anticipated shortage of medical staff battling the coronavirus.”https://t.co/seHUgpgt2n
UK Govt have announced that they will not be evicting refugees and asylum seekers from temporary accommodation for 3 months.— UNHCR United Kingdom (@UNHCRUK) March 30, 2020
We welcome this crucial step that will help ensure a comprehensive and inclusive response to #COVID 19 that leaves no one behind. https://t.co/eqn7HTMXfP
Refugees from Nigeria living in Niger are making beautiful soap, doing their part to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#COVID19— UNHCR Niger (@UNHCRNiger) March 30, 2020
Refugees in Niger 🇳🇪 as actors of prevention, solidarity and health response!
Through the production of soap many marginalized and displaced Nigerians 🇳🇬 will receive free soap 🧼and information on hand washing practices! #LeaveNoOneBehind pic.twitter.com/n8IVE1VvlX
Our staff in Sudan is working around the clock to protect refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is #UNHCR doing to protect refugees, IDPs & hosts from getting #COVID-19 ?— UNHCR in Sudan (@UNHCRinSudan) March 29, 2020
💡Awareness campaign w/ @WHO @UNICEF
🧼Soap for 260,000+ ppl
☎️Surveillance system in camps
More answers in our Flash Update #OutNow 🗒️ https://t.co/8lUqSkC8Qx pic.twitter.com/QNHnC5B3ra
Za'atari camp, Jordan
To boost hygiene, Syrian refygees at Za'atari camp in northern Jordan are making and distributing soap.
In case you missed it...
More than three quarters of refugees live in developing countries. As this Reuters story makes clear, a COVID-19 outbreak would put extraordinary strain on fragile local health-care services and likely result in avoidable suffering and death. Preventing or delaying outbreaks, particularly among the most vulnerable, is the most important action we can take right now.
'Just one case': fears coronavirus may spread like wildfire in world's refugee camps https://t.co/yh6AsiybQZ— Jonty Clayton (@jontyclayton53) March 30, 2020
Preventing COVID-19 outbreaks is vital. Afghans who received financial support last year to start transport businesses are taking the message about coronavirus prevention out to the streets of Kabul on their tuk-tuks.
In 2019, donors incl. 🇪🇺🇩🇪🇺🇸🇰🇷supported Afghans to start their own transport businesses, now these business owners are supporting the #COVID19 response 🇦🇫. Prevention requires all of the community to be involved! pic.twitter.com/jytGmi1nOD— UNHCR Afghanistan (@UNHCRAfg) March 29, 2020
The World Health Organization has classified Libya among the high-risk countries in the Middle East and North Africa. UNHCR has stepped up its support for the health sector's response to COVID-19, including in the country's hard-to-reach south.
🚑UNHCR donated today 4 ambulances to 4 medical facilities in the south of Libya🇱🇾including municipalities of Sabha, Ghat, Derj & Brak al Shati.— UNHCR Libya (@UNHCRLibya) March 29, 2020
We stand in solidarity with the Libyan population & will continue our support to Libyan health sector in response to COVID-19 pandemic pic.twitter.com/Hb39gcIZhv
Countries should follow Portugal's fine example. Inclusion, compassion and kindness are always the right choice.
Obrigado, Portugal!— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) March 29, 2020
An outstanding example of solidarity by inclusion in times of shared distress. https://t.co/doV22FDLNK
Pennsylvania, United States
We've been amazed and inspired by the refugees around the world moved to help their communities. Delivering groceries and air high fives, this entreprenuer in small-town America keeps his community going.
“Helping each other is the best way to be neighbors at this uncertain time." #ThursdayMotivation #ThursdayThoughts— USA for UNHCR (@UNRefugeeAgency) March 26, 2020
Lancaster entrepreneur and former refugee @RealMustafaNuur is working to deliver groceries to the most vulnerable in his community. https://t.co/6Ainiuq6C1
In case you missed it...
This important story in the Guardian (UK) warns that while countries implement restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, they need to remember that humanitarian aid workers must be allowed to deliver food, water and other lifesaving care. Countries must protect everyone, or no one is safe.
I would like to #salutehumanitarians still out there risking their lives to reach millions of #refugees, #IDPs + vulnerable #migrants with critical protection, support and solace. https://t.co/EBhLVHvNP3— George Okoth-Obbo (@GeorgeOkothObbo) March 28, 2020
Weekend reading! We have an excellent list of books, many of which have been translated into multiple languages. Share these titles with family and friends!
Looking for books to add to your weekend reading list?— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 20, 2020
Be inspired by one of these powerful 📚 showcasing voices of the displaced.
Whether you like fiction or nonfiction, you will find something you love in this @nypl list. https://t.co/DkFEcgaXWa pic.twitter.com/xmAVKPNxuP
American magazine InStyle on UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie helping refugees and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As of this week, over a billion children are out of school worldwide because of closures linked to coronavirus." #FridayThoughts— USA for UNHCR (@UNRefugeeAgency) March 27, 2020
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie has donated to @Refugees to help refugee children receive an education.https://t.co/ifpask0JSi
In case you missed it...
Why pay extra attention to refugees during the Coronavirus pandemic? See this great Q&A in Teen Vogue for answers and how to help.
Coronavirus Could Make Millions of Refugees Invisible Victims If We Don't Pay Attention | teenvogue https://t.co/z7SCEdLoqs— Marjanna Bergman (@MarjannaBergman) March 27, 2020
Coronavirus means our staff and friends must find creative ways to communicate and offer support.
"We want to transmit trust and safety"#COVIDー19 makes everything harder. Refugees are scared and more vulnerable. We adapt to our new security measures and keep supporting.— Giovanni Bassu (@gbassu) March 27, 2020
Antonio from UNHCR Guatemala provides vital information via chat and phone to refugees #EveryOneCounts pic.twitter.com/mkL4VEGIKn
Workers at a UNHCR warehouse in Nowshera load a truck with soap, disinfectant and other medical supplies for distribution to health centres in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces. Pakistan hosts more than 1.4 million Afghan refugees.
Our leading public health official sets out the steps we are taking to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save refugees' lives.
UNHCR's Chief of Public Health outlines the dangers the new #coronavirus poses to refugees and internally displaced people, what we're doing to slow its spread, reduce its impact and save lives. #COVID19https://t.co/N0x2mlvsUJ— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 27, 2020
COVID-19 has closed schools at Dadaab, a complex of refugee camps in Kenya that is home to more than 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers. Undaunted, dedicated English teacher Anima gave her lessons over the airwaves.
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
Central Africa Republic
Going home and keeping safe along the way.
Central Africa Republic - this refugee is returning hom home after years of exile, and washes his hands at each transit point along the way, to protect himself and others from #COVID19 #coronavirus. https://t.co/Gz8QMY5uuj— Gisella Lomax 🌍 (@GisellaLomax) March 26, 2020
The kind of inspiration we need now.
🛒 Milk, cucumber, olive oil— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 26, 2020
💙 Solidarity, humanity, generosity
Here's how this group of Syrian refugees in Switzerland help protect the elderly and vulnerable from the #coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/TjOZmyG7kI
In case you missed it...
This article in the Guardian (UK) reminds us refugees around the world stand ready to lend their expertise and skills to the COVID-19 fight.
During the Covid crisis it makes sense for refugees with valuable & relevant qualifications - like doctors – to be identified & allowed to help the national effort.— UNHCR United Kingdom (@UNHCRUK) March 26, 2020
When the dust settles, we hope pathways to the workplace can ease.https://t.co/6ukiNlT1Bw
Our work is "essential business." COVID-19 has not stopped war and persecution.
Violence + persecution in Central America do not stop and neither does the work of @Refugees and other aid organizations in support of those who are forced to flee— Giovanni Bassu (@gbassu) March 23, 2020
Humanitarian work in times of spite of #COVIDー19 #EveryoneCounts pic.twitter.com/SOuJWQ46xS
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, keeping the ultra-vulnerable free of infection will save lives. Our staff in Lebanon have lost no time in building isolation facilities to safeguard Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley.
No refugee cases of #Covid_19 in Lebanon so far - but we must prepare. Working around the clock to pilot isolation facilities at informal #refugee settlements in the Bekaa valley. #UNHCR also plans to expand intensive care capacities at hospitals, for both Lebanese and Syrians. pic.twitter.com/Fi8No4mi8G— Josep Zapater (@ZapaterJosep) March 21, 2020
In the COVID-19 pandemic, AC Milan goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is supporting refugees. Thank you for your generosity Asmir.
Difficult times call for us to unite. My foundation @AB_Fdn will be making a donation to @refugees to help the most vulnerable. To get involved please head to https://t.co/q3URPWAQlP pic.twitter.com/EPNG2YMPK3— Asmir Begovic (@asmir1) March 20, 2020
Safety ever in mind, our colleagues in Southern Darfur don face masks and do what they always do – head out to work.
A routine that saves lives. Our Brazilian colleagues and partners share handwashing tips with Venezuelan refugees.
Don't forget to scrub between the fingers! 🖐️🏽🖐️🏽🧴— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) March 25, 2020
Our teams and partners in Brazil are working to make sure Venezuelan refugees and migrants are staying safe! #SafeHands #Covid19 pic.twitter.com/ZrHNfBhwYy
At a community centre for internally displaced Ukrainians in the Donetsk Oblast region of the country, volunteers are using sewing machines donated by UNHCR to produce face masks for local residents.
Since 2017 @UNHCRUkraine has been supporting a community center in Bakhmut (Donetsk oblast), first by rehabilitating its premises thanks to 🇩🇪 @giz_gmbh funding. With machines we donated in 2018, volunteers are now sewing masks for the community in response to #COVID19 pandemic pic.twitter.com/A3UUHqh8u6— Pablo Mateu (@MateuPablo) March 25, 2020
Nominated by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi to take up the World Health Organization's #SafeHands challenge, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller took an imaginative approach...
I was challenged by @FilippoGrandi to wash my hands for the #SafeHandsChallenge because everyone deserves to be protected against #COVID19.— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) March 20, 2020
I challenge @nathanleegraham @neiltyson @amyschumer to allow us to see you wash your hands in graphic detail. https://t.co/3fNfpsnlBT https://t.co/gULMlxO4g4 pic.twitter.com/Z6fm5PSeFK
In Uganda, which hosts more than 1.4 million refugees, UNHCR has produced a video explaining how refugees can guard against COVID-19 and busting some common myths.
Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan
The region's largest refugee camp is home to nearly 80,000 Syrians, and residents have come up with their own solution to ensure adequate social distancing in the queue for daily food distributions.
And that is how it’s done: shoppers lining up at the @ZaatariCamp supermarket keep their ✋distance. The best part? The idea of marking the spots on the ground came from the community.— Dominik Bartsch (@dominik_bartsch) March 25, 2020
Fighting back #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/wLTG1kQy9G
Maratane Refugee Camp, Mozambique
After Mozambique reported its first COVID-19 case earlier this week, UNHCR colleagues in the country's main site for refugees have begun distributing soap and offering advice to residents on how to protect themselves from the virus.
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
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
At the world's largest refugee settlement, in Bangladesh, UNHCR is giving health tips and distributing soap to curb the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak among Rohingya refugees.
Handwashing with clean water & soap for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to fight #coronavirus— UNHCR in Bangladesh (@UNHCR_BGD) March 24, 2020
In Cox's Bazar, mass soap distributions are underway, combined with awareness raising, in efforts to reduce the risk of an outbreak in the refugee camps#HandHygiene pic.twitter.com/UhSYIVAqO5
Paying it forward: Four years ago, Robin Stevenson sponsored a refugee family to resettle to Canada. Now she is self-isolating after travel, and that family brought a care package to her door.
Back in 2016 we sponsored a refugee family to come to Canada. Today, knowing that we're self-isolating because of travel, they brought bags of food to my front porch. Beans, dates, noodles, lentils, tahini, veggies, meat, and candy for my kid. So kind... and I'm so grateful♥️😭🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/BksTcxl62y— Robin Stevenson (@robin_stevenson) March 24, 2020
UNHCR's representative in Poland is highlighting a refugee initiative in the port city of Gdansk to sew protective masks – vital kit in short supply as health-care systems strain to treat soaring numbers of COVID-19 patients.
A UNHCR airlift from Frankfurt flew 4.4 tonnes of much needed medical equipment including masks, gloves and essential medicines to support the COVID-19 response in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The country hosts close to one million Afghan refugees and faces critical shortages within its health-care system.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Fillippo Grandi highlights steps taken to curb the COVID-19 outbreak around the world.
From Bangladesh to Chile, from the Sahel to the Middle East, from Africa to Europe, UNHCR and its partners are helping governments step up preventive and preparatory measures for possible outbreaks of #COVID19 affecting refugees, displaced people and host communities. pic.twitter.com/0L71zlzsiK— Filippo Grandi (@FilippoGrandi) March 22, 2020