20 out of 20 UNHCR countries / operations are reporting active cases of COVID-19 in the region
17.4 million 2021 planning figure fo people of concern in the Middle East and North Africa
9,882 cases of COVID-19 reported among persons of concern including fatalities since March 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert its toll on people’s lives globally and as the Islamic world welcomed the holy month of Ramadan in April, UNHCR has called for greater solidarity and support for millions of refugees and internally displaced people.
Exacerbated by the pandemic, UNHCR estimates that three in four refugees worldwide can only meet half or less of their basic needs. Families have cut spending on food, are no longer able to pay rent, have fallen deeper into debt, or have been forced to stop children from attending lessons, even where schools have remained open. In March 2021, UNHCR and the World Bank published an update to the joint study Compounding Misfortunes, which highlights the poverty impact of COVID-19 on Syrian refugee and host communities in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq (Kurdistan Region of Iraq).
Coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, UNHCR launched the “Every Second Counts” global fundraising campaign. Donations received as Zakat, Sadaqah, or general giving can ease the burden for forcibly displaced families that are away from home and their loved ones. The campaign will provide funds for UNHCR’s lifesaving support to vulnerable families, orphans, single mothers, and older people as well as fund UNHCR’s regular programming and help meet the mounting needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.