Argentina + 1 more

Argentina - COVID-19, 18 May 2020 | Update #9

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Key Figures

• 185,711 persons of concern to UNHCR, including 3,881 refugees, 8,044 asylum-seekers, 443 others of concern, and 176,343 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$23.6 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 revised US$755 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), 30 per cent has been already funded or pledged, thanks to the generous and timely contributions of donors.

Situational highlights

• A total of 8,068 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of 18 May have been reported in Argentina and 373 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.

▪ President Fernández extended until 24 May a quarantine for its capital Buenos Aires but relaxed the restriction as the the spread of the virus has slowed down elsewhere in the country. Buenos Aires City and Buenos Aires Province remain Argentina's hardest-hit regions from the coronavirus pandemic. President Fernández said the country had managed to “successfully” contain the coronavirus pandemic, but stressed the crisis was far from over. Argentina’s borders will remain closed.

▪ On 12 May, UNHCR issued a joint press release with IOM asking for urgent support as COVID-19 inflicts more and more hardship on refugees and migrants from Venezuela. To support the largely underfunded work of the 151 organizations who are part of the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform (R4V) response, a virtual Pledging Conference will be convened towards the end of the month.