*Six months into the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has become evident that communities and individuals, including the forcibly displaced, will take a long time to recover from the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their livelihoods, even after the pandemic is over. The forcibly displaced are among the most vulnerable to the socioeconomic impact of the virus since many are informal workers and/or working in highly impacted sectors, such as in hospitality, manufacturing and retail. UNHCR is working with governments and partners to mitigate the negative socio-economic impacts and support efforts to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability.
This document is a second publication of emerging practices on livelihoods and economic inclusion to respond to the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first publication can be accessed here. *
Bridging COVID-19 responses with development actors
In line with the Global Compact on Refugees, UNHCR operations around the world are engaging with development actors, including through the UN Development System and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to include refugees in multi-agency socio-economic response plans and launch joint resource mobilization proposals.
In Angola, a joint proposal for the UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery MultiPartner Trust Fund was drafted together with UN Habitat, UNDP and UNICEF with the prime goal of building resilience among vulnerable populations residing in urban settlements, including refugees and asylum seekers in Viana. The proposal includes livelihoods projects targeting refugees and host communities.
In Zimbabwe, UNHCR was actively involved in the development of the UNCT socio-economic framework which has formed the basis for funding appeals in relation to the COVID-19 response.
In Tunisia, UNHCR is working closely with the UNCT, including WHO and IOM, and key ministries (Social Affairs; Women; Human Rights) to promote the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in national preparedness and response measures, such as health and national cash-based assistance programmes.
In Mauritania, UNHCR is working with the government and the World Bank to include refugees registered at Mbera Camp in the national social protection mechanisms building on the World Bank IDA-18 SubRefugee Window funding to Mauritania. In the context of the response to the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, UNHCR is deploying a new “Cash for Social Protection” assistance for refugees living in the urban centres of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.