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Effects of COVID-19 on Migrants - Main Findings Survey in Central America and Mexico, June 2020

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INTRODUCTION

On January 30, 2020, the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak known as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). On March 11, 2020, due to alarming levels of spread and severity, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Due to the rapid spread of the disease, 92% of countries in the Americas had closed their borders by April 6, 20203 as part of health measures, resulting in significant changes in global mobility and affecting the services of airlines, land and sea transportation, border management, and migration policies.

In addition to their impact on countries’ economies and labor markets, these changes have affected and will continue to affect migration trends and the needs of migrants. This includes numerous cases of migrants stranded4 due to movement restrictions as well as effects on unemployment rates and income generation in both countries of origin and residence.

In light of this complex socioeconomic and migration situation, added to the health crisis, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a survey during the month of June 2020 on the effects of the pandemic on emigrants from Central America and Mexico and immigrants from any part of the world residing in Central America and Mexico at the time of response. The survey additionally collected information on people who had the intention of migrating.

This survey has the objective of generating data in order to analyze the repercussions of COVID-19 for this population and guide the response of the many actors involved in the pandemic response, migration management, and socioeconomic recovery strategies.

This initiative was conducted as part of IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program, financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State of the United States of America.

International Organization for Migration
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