Argentina + 1 more

Argentina - COVID-19, 06 May 2020 | Update #8

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Key Figures

• 188,728 persons of concern to UNHCR, including 3,881 refugees, 8,044 asylum-seekers, 443 others of concern, and 176,360 Venezuelans displaced abroad. So far, no cases of coronavirus have been reported among refugees, asylum-seekers, others of concern and Venezuelans displaced in Argentina.

• Funding: US$22.7 million are required for the operation in 2020, and it has only covered 12 per cent of the funds required for its operational needs. While seeking funds to carry out COVID-19 preventive measures and response activities, UNHCR stresses the need for support to be in addition to the existing critical funding requirements laid out in UNHCR’s regular Global Appeal for 2020. For the US$255 million appealed for UNHCR’s operations in affected countries by COVID-19 until the end of the year, as part of UN inter-agency Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), 88 per cent has been already funded or pledged, thanks to the generous and timely contributions of donors.

Situational highlights

• A total of 5,020 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of 06 May have been reported in Argentina and 264 deaths, with local transmission cases already.

• All staff in Argentina continue teleworking mode, complying with the sanitary restrictions imposed in the country. Partners continue providing remote assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, Venezuelan displaced and others of concern in Buenos Aires, La Quiaca, Puerto Iguazú, Posadas and San Salvador de Jujuy.

• Most analysts expect the nationwide lockdown – to expire on 10 May – to be extended for at least two more weeks, though provinces that have not recorded new cases for at least 10 days may have their restrictions loosened. Buenos Aires City and Buenos Aires Province remain Argentina's hardest-hit regions from the coronavirus pandemic, accounting for 63 percent of all Covid-19 infections recorded to date and almost 70 percent of fatalities

▪ Argentina is entering a crucial period this month for a precarious debt-restructuring process that will determine whether the country falls into default for a third time in just two decades. After months of negotiations, the government made a proposal in April to restructure $65 billion of its foreign debt. Argentina’s leaders are racing to win over wary creditors, who have already rejected the initial offer, with bankers and investors increasingly concerned that no deal will be reached. A default would hurt, even as Argentina grapples with recession, inflation and a major hit from the coronavirus outbreak that will likely cause a large economic contraction this year.

▪ On 1 May, UNHCR issued a press release drawing attention to the increasingly desperate situation of forcibly displaced people affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.