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  • Operational considerations: COVID-19 and forced displacement in the Middle East and East Africa
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Operational considerations: COVID-19 and forced displacement in the Middle East and East Africa

Source(s):  Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP)

This summary paper puts forward considerations of the ways in which humanitarian actors, civil society organisations and government departments with specific responsibilities towards displaced people can contribute to lessening vulnerabilities in this pandemic. Across the Middle East and East Africa, COVID-19 is compounding vulnerabilities already experienced by populations forcibly displaced by war (refugees, asylum-seekers, internally-displaced and stateless persons). In addition to the devastating health threat the pandemic poses, lockdown measures imposed by governments to reduce transmission are having outsized effects on forcibly displaced populations, further entrenching poverty, xenophobia and creating new humanitarian protection issues.

The considerations this paper provides include: 

  • Adopt holistic responses; 
  • collaborate with local groups; 
  • avoid imposing complete lockdowns that threaten economic security;
  • mitigate protection risks of testing and surveillance;
  • do not ask people to leave their homes during an epidemic;
  • protect access to routine healthcare;
  • maintain peace-building initiatives; and
  • reduce barriers to inclusion of forcibly displaced people in COVID-19 decisionmaking.



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  • Operational considerations: COVID-19 and forced displacement in the Middle East and East Africa
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Duclos, D.; Palmer, J.
  • Number of pages 6 p.

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