Kenya + 5 more

MMC 4Mi snapshot: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants in Kenya and Somaliland


In East Africa, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on migration dynamics in the region. In March 2020, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and other East African countries reported their first cases of the COVID-19 virus. As a response to the growing threat, governments across the region implemented strict travel restrictions and widespread border closures. Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case on March 12 and announced its borders would close on March 15.
Somaliland reported its first case on March 16 and subsequently closed its borders on March 26. This snapshot aims to contribute towards building a solid evidence base to inform targeted responses on the ground, as well as advocacy efforts related to the situation of refugees and migrants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Key recommendations

• Increase cash support to vulnerable refugees and migrants to cushion them from the negative impacts of loss of income.

• Support governments to safeguard the right to seek asylum and preserve the principle of non-refoulement in line with international refugee law and human rights law.