Information on the Covid-19 Emergency

COVID-19 – and the measures taken to combat it – have changed almost every aspect of life for people living in the UK, including migrants. During this time, access to information is not only vital to understand the risks to our health, but also to adapt to these new circumstances and look for help when it is needed. IOM UK has created a “COVID-19 Migrant Information Service” online platform to provide multilingual information on five key areas of every-day life that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency: Health, Employment, Benefits, Housing, and Immigration

Many migrants can find it difficult to in navigate complex information as they may face linguistic barriers. Providing accessible information in multiple languages helps people to better understand the services they are entitled to and access them when needed. IOM UK is providing this information in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Romanian, Chinese, Albanian and Vietnamese, with Polish to be added soon. 

Please visit www.covid19uk.iom.int to access multilingual information on COVID-19 measures and support in the UK.

In addition, IOM UK is offering a webinar, available on multiple dates, targeting frontline staff working on the COVID-19 response at a community level, to provide an overview of engaging migrant communities, diaspora leaders and migrant-led community organisations in a partnership approach to develop and communicate successful response measures. Please check the link below for further information and upcoming dates
“Engaging Migrant Communities in the Context of Covid-19: Lessons from the Field”

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at: [email protected] 

 

The current outbreak of COVID-19 is – first and foremost – a health issue and affecting us all. The virus has shown that it does not discriminate - but many refugees, those forcibly displaced, the stateless and migrants are at heightened risk. IOM reiterates the need for migrant-inclusive approaches, in the overall COVID-19 response and calls on countries to address the particular needs and vulnerabilities of migrants, regardless of their immigration status, particularly in the spirit of Universal Health Coverage.

The crisis is also having an unprecedented impact on mobility both in terms of regimes for border and migration management, and the situation of all people on the move, including those displaced by conflict or disaster. The global mobility has been affected in the form of various travel disruptions, restrictions and blockages. To better understand how COVID-19 affects global mobility, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been working to map the impacts on human mobility, at Global, Regional and Country level. Resources ad information are available here

Since January, IOM’s global workforce has been mobilized across the world, and have been working with governments to plan their responses and save lives as the global health crisis evolves into the most significant mobility crisis ever. IOM COVID-19 response covers all regions of the world, and comprises a wide range of on-going and planned activities aimed at reaching the vulnerable and building operational capacities to address the mobility dimensions of this pandemic.

More information on IOM response can be found here and the situational reports here

The EUSS continues to be open for applications from EU nationals and eligible non-EU nationals. While the deadline for applications remains 30 June 2021, it is important to apply as soon as possible. Having settled status is very helpful when seeking financial support in the event of losing a job or struggling to pay rent as it automatically proves that you have a right to reside in the UK.  

While applications under the EU Settlement Scheme continue to be processed, they will take longer than usual. Many support services are currently suspended due to the coronavirus restrictions. In addition, some support services and application routes have temporarily changed:

  • Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC): the SRC will no longer be answering telephone calls. It will, however, continue to respond to email enquiries and provide a call back function when required. 
  • ID document scanner locations:  the ID document scanning services have been temporarily suspended
  • Postal route for submitting Identity evidence: the postal route for submitting identity evidence is currently suspended. The Home Office is unable to accept any documents by post, but all documents already sent to them will be returned as quickly as possible. Applications can still be made online using the EU Exit ID Document check App..
  • IOM support on the EUSS:  IOM caseworkers continue to advise and support vulnerable EU nationals. Local Authorities and 3rd Sector Organisations can make referrals for vulnerable individuals. Please contact [email protected] for further information and referral form.

The Covid-19 global health crisis has led to unprecedented measures including the closing of international borders, major travel restrictions and regulations put in place for public safety and health. In this context, all of the planned resettlement movements between 13 March to the end of April have been cancelled. The affected local authorities have been notified by the UK Home Office. IOM and UNHCR are supporting and keeping refugees up-to-date in the refugee-hosting countries. 

We remain in close communication with our UK Home Office counterparts to monitor and review the position going forward so as to resume resettlement movements when conditions allow.

Covid-19 News

IOM Opens First  Women and Girls Safe Space for Host Communities in Cox’s Bazar

Cox’s Bazar – Nearly three-quarters of married Bangladeshi women have experienced domestic violence in their lives, according to a 2015 study, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the risk. A recent report highlights the rise in gender-based violence (GBV), particularly intimate partner violence, and child protection issues including child labour and child marriage in both Rohingya and Bangladeshi communities. 

Over 3.6 Million People Reached by IOM in Ethiopia in 2020 for Prevention and Mitigation of COVID-19

Addis Ababa – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on immense challenges for Ethiopia, a country whose already strained healthcare system faces enormous challenges. With a population of 110 million people there is only an estimated one doctor to 10,000 people in the country. 

Explosion on Afghan-Iranian Border Damages IOM Reception Centre, Stalls Services to Afghan Returnees

Herat – A catastrophic fire on the border between Afghanistan and Iran, which killed at least 40 people, injured 17 others and caused USD hundreds of millions worth of destruction on Saturday, also da

Mobile Health Teams Will Provide A Lifeline to Thousands of Armenia's Conflict-Displaced

Yerevan – Tens of thousands of Armenians have been displaced following the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh last year.

IOM and UNHCR Welcome Colombia’s Decision to Regularize Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants

Bogota/Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Monday praised Colombia’s initiative to provide ten-year temporary protection status to Venezuelans in the country.

Asia-Pacific Document Examination Experts Reaffirm Commitment to Curb Transnational Organized Crime

Bangkok, Malé – New emerging technologies and COVID-19 have triggered opportunistic, predatory behaviour from organized criminal networks, which often utilize fraudulent travel documents and/or stolen or lost passports to facilitate migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, and irregular migration. 

Migrants Play Key Role in Disaster Response, IOM Explores Diaspora’s Engagement in Humanitarian Assistance

Washington, DC – Many people, when they consider the contributions of migrants to their countries of origin, think first of remittance flows —the billions of dollars travelling annually between high income, “developed” destination countries to lower income regions in the Global South. 

IOM and UNDP in Belarus Join Forces to Fight Stigma During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Minsk – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are partnering on a new initiative to counter stigma and discrimination faced by migrants

IOM Helps Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 among Brazilian Indigenous and Riverside Communities

Brasília – Indigenous, rural, and riverside communities in northern Brazil comprise the most vulnerable populations to the spread of COVID-19.

"Migration is one of the key realities of our time. It cuts across communities, influences priorities, and shapes societies.
To realise the benefits of migration for migrants and host communities alike, our responses must be innovative, collaborative and designed beyond the immediate."

 

Dipti Pardeshi, Chief of Mission of the IOM UK Office