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COVID-19 & Forced Displacement

The confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in displaced communities is relatively small. This is however, more likely a result of a lack of testing and awareness than the absence of the virus. 
Especially countries affected by conflict have seen substantial damage to critical health infrastructure, negatively affecting people’s access to medical care. Hospitals are destroyed, medical personnel are either killed or forced to flee, supply chains for medical equipment and medicines are disrupted. Refugees also can face high levels of discrimination and xenophobia in some host countries. Because of their legal status, refugees may find difficulties in accessing national health systems.
People who are forced to flee from armed conflict or for other reasons can also end up living in cramped environments. Refugee settlements tend to have a high population density and suffer from insufficient hygiene and sanitation facilities, creating conditions conducive to the spread of the disease. Social distancing and handwashing wit clean water are difficult, if not impossible. Underlying health issues stemming from poor nutrition or lack of vaccination can make refugees even more vulnerable. National policies of isolation in reaction to the spread of COVID-19 also have negative consequences for persons facing humanitarian emergencies resulting in the halt of resettlement programmes. 
The COVID-19 also poses particular protection concerns for people in crises and humanitarian settings. The closure of schools worldwide has dramatically impeded the right to education. Children are vulnerable to exploitation through child labor, even trafficking.  Confinement, loss of income and livelihood activities, isolation, and increased psychosocial needs have led to a spike in sexual and domestic violence, including among refugees and the internally displaced. 

[Bl​og] IDMC blog on impacts of COVID-19 on displaced and non-displaced populations in Yemen

[Web] IDMC Page on Covid-19 and internal displacement

[Web] OCHA 

[Web] UNHCR 

[Web] ICRC - Covid-19

[Response]: Global Humanitarian Response Plan 

[Guidance] IASC Scaling up COVID-19 readiness and response in humanitarian situations. 

[Guidance] UNHCR – Key protection messages

[Web] Global Protection Cluster on COVID:

[Policy Brief]: ReDSS - To leave no one behind and mitigate impacts for displacement-affected communities

[Attached Pdf] IOM Cox's Bazar: Why Trust Matters" (coming soon)

[Articles] CSIS – The impact of COVID-19 on humanitarian crises