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UNHCR North of Central America Situation Fact Sheet May 2020

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Around 470,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from the North of Central America in the world and 318,590 internal displaced people in Honduras and El Salvador have been forced to flee their homes because of brutal violence.

As at May, countries in the region continue to maintain official borders closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cases of violence and internal forced displacement in countries of origin nevertheless continue unabated.

UNHCR and partners have been identifying and assisting people with protection needs, including unaccompanied children, SGBV survivors (women and LGBTI people), men victims of recruitment and witnesses of serious crimes.

Overview

Governments in the NCA maintain curfews and quarantine to avoid a new wave of COVID-19 infections, which continues to impact UNHCR’s presence in communities and people of concern’s jobs and livelihoods. These restrictions also worsen the situation for people at risk in countries of origin, who will face additional difficulties to flee when persecuted. Internal forced displacements continue despite the pandemic.

LGTBI community leaders in the NCA continue to report violence and persecution by gangs that aim to force them into criminal activities or threaten their lives because of who they are. They also experience limitations in accessing humanitarian aid, health care, and economic opportunities during the pandemic.

UNHCR continues to ramp up efforts to support government responses to support IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers to cope with critical needs, like access to protection, food, housing and healthcare, including mental health.

In addition, UNHCR continues to support reception conditions for deportees and returnees and collaborates with partners and governments in the identification of protection needs among those in quarantine.