UNHCR COVID-19 Preparedness and Response
After the deadly and devastating blast in Beirut on 4 August, UNHCR rushes to support the government-led response. The list of more than 200 fatalities also includes at least 34 reported refugee victims so far. The massive explosion adds to the already severe economic crisis that had pushed many Lebanese and refugees deeper into poverty, further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, UNHCR has called upon states to urgently release refugees and asylum- seekers who are being unlawful and arbitrarily held in detention, asking that states act in accordance with international law and that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable refugees are not placed at heightened and unnecessary risk.
Since the beginning of UNHCR’s COVID-19 response in Southern Africa, almost 1,900 health workers have been trained on COVID-19 prevention and response, nearly 4,400 additional hand washing facilities have been established and over 329,300 households received soap for handwashing to prevent COVID-19.