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, Vietnamese and Polish.

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

Rohingya Cyclists Share Key COVID19 Information Door to Door in Cox’s Bazar Refugee Camps

Cox’s Bazar–Social distancing is a crucial aspect in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But that poses challenges to the flow of key information during a time when being well-informed also is critical to public health.

Enhancing Access to Services for Migrants in the Context of COVID-19: Preparedness, Prevention, Response and Beyond

Geneva - The impact of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of ensuring access to services for all.  Whether as a means to ensure we protect our societies against the virus; or to uphold universal

IOM Ethiopia assists hundreds of returning COVID-19 affected migrants

Addis Ababa – Thousands of irregular and undocumented migrants in Lebanon have lost their livelihoods due to COVID-19 and the economic crisis. Many have begun to return home to Ethiopia. 

IOM Reiterates Importance of Addressing Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 on Displaced and Migrant Populations

Geneva – As top humanitarian stakeholders gather virtually this week to discuss key issues under the auspices of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will be shedding light on the critical importance of addressing issues related to mental health in the COVID-19 context, particularly related to displaced persons and migrants.

We Together: Street Art for Safe Migration and Solidarity during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Accra – Giant fingers rendered in rainbow hues flash out a message as motorists rush by on a freeway here in one of Africa’s busiest capitals. Smiling children grin back, saying nothing.

IOM Iraq Provides Cash Assistance to Migrant Workers Affected by COVID-19

Erbil — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten workforces globally, migrant workers are at particular risk of losing their livelihoods. 

IOM, Partners Offer “Filter Hotel” to Migrants Needing Quarantine in Northern Mexico

Ciudad Juárez – In this Mexican city on the border with the United States, many migrant shelters have closed their doors in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For this reason, recently arrived migrants to the city, or those who can no longer afford to pay for lodging, wonder if they would have somewhere to go during the quarantine ordered by authorities.  

IOM Niger: Assisted Voluntary Return for Stranded Malians; Over 1,600 Remain in Transit Centers

Niamey – Yesterday (4/06), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 179 Malian nationals stranded in Niger with their voluntary return to Mali, thanks to the European Union’s financial support. The migrants had been waiting at IOM’s transit centres in Niamey and Agadez for almost three months due to the border closures decreed by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.    

IOM Niger: Assisted Voluntary Return for Stranded Malians; Over 1,400 Remain in Transit Centers

Niamey – Yesterday (4/06), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 179 Malian nationals stranded in Niger with their voluntary return to Mali, thanks to the European Union’s financial support. The migrants had been waiting at IOM’s transit centres in Niamey and Agadez for almost three months due to the border closures decreed by the government to prevent 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