EHoA SITUATION OVERVIEW
COVID-19 continues to affect people across East & Horn of Africa. Migrants, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), are among some of the world’s most vulnerable groups being adversely affected by the disease. Migrant groups are more likely to be exposed to the conditions and circumstances in which COVID-19 spreads, which includes living in poorer and makeshift locations, and/or overcrowded settings. They are less likely to have access to COVID-19 testing, medical care, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and the COVID-19 vaccines being developed and distributed.
Thousands of migrants are currently stranded across East and Horn of Africa due to the impact of nearly one year of movement and mobility restrictions in the region, including air, land and sea border closures, and quarantine rules. Many of these people are in need of food, water, medical assistance, transport, counselling and psycho-social support. Migrants have also been forced to return to their countries of origin, losing jobs and livelihoods in the process. Thousands of migrants are in detention where they are facing abuse in prison like facilities. Others are experiencing stigma and xenophobia, resulting from being blamed for the spread of the disease.
As of 23 February 2021, there were 1,366 new cases of COVID-19 in the region, including Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and South Sudan, according to the World Health Organization. This brings the total of confirmed cases in the region to 342,547, since the start of the pandemic last year.
IOM is supporting governments throughout the region to respond to COVID-19 in the areas of Risk Communication, Disease Surveillance, Infection Prevention & Control, Case Management, at ‘Points of Entry’ (PoEs), in Procurement and Logistics, and in other areas. IOM is advocating for migrants, including IDPs to be included in all government responses to COVID-19, including the roll out and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. IOM launched a regional appeal for the East and Horn of Africa for $71.6m in April 2020, to meet the many needs of these communities.
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 2020 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-plan-h... africa-and-yemen-2018-%E2%80%93-2020
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