This report is a significant achievement. To this day, it is the most comprehensive attempt to assess the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 on migrants and displaced persons in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Adapting the United Nations framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19 to the specific realities of migrants and displaced populations, the authors examine the implications of the pandemic on six key pillars, namely (1) Health services and systems during the crisis; (2) Access to social protection and basic services; (3) Economic response and recovery; (4) Macroeconomic response and multilateral collaboration; (5) Social Cohesion and community resilience; and (6) Mobility.
This work is relevant to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). In line with Objective 1 of the CGM to ‘collect and utilise accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies,’ this study helps understand the unique ways through which various mobile populations across the MENA region are affected by the pandemic. It helps better understand the impact of COVID-19 on several GCM objectives, including Objective 6 (Decent Work); Objective 15 (Basic Services); Objective 16 (Inclusion and Social Cohesion); Objective 17 (Discrimination); Objective 20 (Remittances and financial inclusion); Objective 21 (Return and Reintegration) and Objective 22 (Social Protection). The unique set of data collected and analysed for this report will be invaluable in supporting and prioritising future initiatives to respond to the needs of migrants and displaced person in these challenging times.
Beyond this, the indicator bank and data collection tools developed for this exercise constitute a starting point to replicate this type of analysis in more countries of the MENA region, and potentially at a global level. Scaling up this type of assessments will allow comparative benchmarking between various countries and populations, ultimately helping to shape interventions that are relevant to the unique needs of mobile populations.
This study would not have been possible without the generous support of the Kingdom of Denmark and the joint efforts provided by several teams in IOM’s Regional Office in Cairo, the support of IOM’s country offices throughout the region, key informants and survey respondents. IOM hopes to renew fruitful collaboration in coming assessments, whether at a national, regional or global level.
Ms Carmela Godeau
Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa
International Organisation for Migration
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