EHoA SITUATION OVERVIEW
Amid a rise in infections globally in what is being described as a second wave, the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) is also on the rise. Migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), are among vulnerable groups facing the worst impact of the pandemic, compared to non-migrants. Furthermore, migrants and those living in displacement settings are more likely to be exposed to the conditions in which COVID-19 spreads. This includes having limited access to sanitation, being confined to poorer and makeshift living conditions and overcrowded settings, hence migrants may be unable to practise social distancing. These groups may also have an over-representation of pre-existing health issues and usually lack access to COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face coverings, sanitizer and gloves. Thousands of migrants across the East and Horn of Africa region are currently stranded, due to border closures and movement restrictions created by COVID-19, unable to reach destinations and unable to return home. Many are in need of food, water, medical assistance and transport. At the same time, migrants are being returned to their countries of origin against their desired will. In some cases, migrants are experiencing detention, abuse, stigma and xenophobia, resulting from being blamed for the spread of the disease.
As of November 4, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the region stands at 187,442. 1,325 new cases have been reported in the last day with most new cases reported in Ethiopia (560 daily increase 0.6%), followed by Kenya (492 daily increase 0.9%), Uganda (252 daily increase 1.9%) and Burundi (8 daily increase 1.3%). Ethiopia remains the country with the highest number of confirmed cases in the region at 97,502 (52.0% of total case), followed by Kenya 57,094 (30.5%), followed by Uganda 13,351 (7.1%).
IOM is working with governments across the region to respond to the impact of COVID-19 in the areas of protection, risk communication, disease surveillance, infection prevention and control, case management, ‘points of entry’ (PoEs), camp coordination and management, procurement and logistics, among others. IOM is advocating for all migrants, including IDPs, to be included in all national government responses to the fight against COVID-19. A regional financial appeal to assist migrant groups in the East and Horn of Africa was launched in April for $71.6M. So far, 69 % of the required funds have been raised.
Link to the EHoA COVID-19 appeal document; https://ronairobi.iom.int/publications/ iom-east-and-horn-africa-strategic-and-preparedness-and-response-plan-covid-19
In August IOM launched an appeal to specifically respond to the needs of migrants on the ‘Eastern Route’ from the Horn of Africa to Yemen.
Link to the Regional Migrant Response Plan for Horn of Africa and Yemen’ (RMRP) 2020 Appeal: https://ronairobi.iom.int/publications/regional-migrants-response-planhorn-africa-and-yemen-2018-%E2%80%93-2020