UNHCR’s response to COVID-19 around the world

This is how UNHCR is supporting vulnerable refugees and displaced families in the fight against coronavirus.

Forcibly displaced communities are at heightened risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. All around the world, 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.


 

PHILIPPINES

UNHCR Philippines is closely coordinating with competent government authorities for the full inclusion of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the national surveillance, preparedness, response plans and activities. Due to the fast-changing nature of this crisis, we may also need to supplement national responses at short notice, including coordination, planning and monitoring.

Alongside our sister UN agencies here in the Philippines and other partner organizations, we have been closely following the developments as well as the guidance on COVID-19 issued by the World Health Organization. The Humanitarian Country Group, which includes the World Health Organization (WHO), UNCHR Philippines, and other UN agencies, is in close coordination for risk communication, sharing of key messages, community engagement and preparedness, hygiene promotion, and contingency planning.

COTABATO
28 March 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and upon the request of local government unit (LGU) of Cotabato City, UNHCR Philippines together with its partner Community and Family Services International (CFSI) provided Core Relief Items (CRIs) to the most vulnerable families.

UNHCR provided plastic tarpaulins that will be set up as tents to support additional health emergency services at Cotabato City Hall and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center. Fifty hygiene kits were also provided for Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) and frontline healthcare workers in the city.

COVIDResponse_Mindanao01

This initiative is part of the Mindanao Protection Project (MPP) implemented by UNHCR and CFSI. It aims to address the immediate protection needs of people affected by forced displacement, and facilitates the rapid integration and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including the island provinces, and North Cotabato in Region XII through the provision of CRIs and implementation of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) and protection monitoring trainings.

COVIDResponse_Mindanao03

This initiative is part of the Mindanao Protection Project (MPP) implemented by UNHCR and CFSI. It aims to address the immediate protection needs of people affected by forced displacement, and facilitates the rapid integration and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including the island provinces, and North Cotabato in Region XII through the provision of CRIs and implementation of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) and protection monitoring trainings.

COVIDResponse_Mindanao02

This initiative is part of the Mindanao Protection Project (MPP) implemented by UNHCR and CFSI. It aims to address the immediate protection needs of people affected by forced displacement, and facilitates the rapid integration and rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including the island provinces, and North Cotabato in Region XII through the provision of CRIs and implementation of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) and protection monitoring trainings.

 

BANGLADESH

 
 

 
 

IRAN

On the 23rd of March, UNHCR airlifted some 4.4 tons of much-needed medical aid items, including supplies to support the COVID-19 response in the Islamic Republic of Iran. ⁣

Iran. UNHCR staff packs aid-items to distribute to refugee settlements in Iran, as part of the COVID-19 response.

UNHCR staff inspects and packs aid items, including soap and disposable paper towels to distribute to refugee settlements in Iran, as part of the COVID-19 response.

Iran. UNHCR staff packs aid-items to distribute to refugee settlements in Iran, as part of the COVID-19 response.

Along with soap, disposable paper towels and thermometers, UNHCR is stepping up awareness raising activities in refugee settlements and in refugee-hosting ares in urban villages, cities and towns.

There are close to one million refugees in Iran who have access to the same health services as the host community and are covered under the national health response. However, hospitals and health centers are struggling to cope with the sharply increasing number of individuals needing urgent help. ⁣

Read more: UNHCR’s airlift with vital medical aid lands in Iran
 
 

 
 

LEBANON

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PAKISTAN

At UNHCR’s central warehouse in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, trucks are being loaded to dispatch core relief items in support of the Government of Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief items include medical supplies and sanitation products such as sanitary clothes, soap and disinfectants. They will be provided to health facilities in support of refugees and host communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

 

 
 
 

BRAZIL

In coordination with other UN agencies and within the framework of the R4V (Response for Venezuelans) Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform, UNHCR is supporting local and national efforts to cope with Covid-19 situation to protect the Venezuelan population assisted in Manaus, Boa Vista and Pacaraima, in Brazil.

Brazil. Venezuelan refugees receive Covid-19 prevention guidelines

UNHCR Protection staff talk to Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Manaus, Brazil about WHO guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Brazil. Venezuelan refugees receive Covid-19 prevention guidelines

Refugees and displaced populations, particularly the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, often have reduced access to health services and sanitation and may be more likely to be among the vulnerable groups at greater risk of contracting contagious viruses and communicable disease.

Brazil. Venezuelan refugees receive Covid-19 prevention guidelines

In Brazil, our teams and partners are working to make sure Venezuelan refugees are staying safe, smart, and kind.

 
 

ITALY

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NIGERIA

Refugees from Nigeria living in Niger are making beautiful soap, doing their part to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.


 
 
 

SUDAN

Our staff in Sudan is working around the clock to protect refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic.


 
 
 

JORDAN

In Za’atari camp, and across Jordan, UNHCR is working to support refugees during this global health emergency.

To boost hygiene, Syrian refugees at Za’atari camp in northern Jordan are making and distributing soap.

 

 

 

ETHIOPIA

As a part of averting COVID-19, we are securing preventive measures and engaging refugees as Community Outreach Workers in sharing these measures.

 

 

 

ALGERIA

In providing the Sahrawi community their own personal protective equipment, disinfection is now a standard.

 

 

 

 

LIBYA

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.

 

 

UGANDA

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.

 

 

 

TANZANIA

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.