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.
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 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.
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.
Berlin, Brussels – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a new data platform to better understand migration and human mobility in times of crisis through new data sources and methodologies such as satellite imagery, artificial intelligence and machine learning, social media and mobile phone data.
Washington DC – The Government of the United States is providing nearly USD 28.5 million in new funds to support the International Organization for Migration (IOM) COVID-19 response globally. The contribution will provide vital humanitarian assistance to refugees, vulnerable migrants and host communities in almost 30 countries.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in South America Represent 87 Per Cent of the Total in Latin America - IOM Launches Urgent Appeal
Buenos Aires – The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) reached South America later than other regions, but as of 21 May 2020, of the 563,550 of COVID-19 cases reported in Latin America by the World Health Organization (WHO), 491,499 are in this region (87% of all cases). Brazil has become the country with the highest number of coronavirus infections in Latin America. Worldwide, only the United States and the Russia Federation have recorded more cases.
Geneva - Few crises in our collective memory have had the global reach of COVID-19. Across our societies, communities have responded to this pandemic with strong cooperation and solidarity.
Cox’s Bazar – Just days after the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Rohingya settlements of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, approximately 1.2 million refugees and host community members now face the threat of Cyclone Amphan – a super cyclonic storm with maximum sustained winds of 265 kilometres per hour.
How the Republic of Korea Flattened the Curve Without Nationwide Lockdowns or Border Closures: Report
Seoul – With the Republic of Korea (ROK), one of the very few countries flattening the COVID-19 curve without imposing nationwide lockdowns or border closures, IOM ROK and the Migration Research and Training Center (MRTC), have released a timely report highlighting the country’s approach to the pandemic.
Geneva – Highlighting the deep impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the mental health of people worldwide, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) calls for pro-active measures to be taken by gove
Responding to the Pandemic Amid Multi-layered Crises in the Sahel: “Stop the Virus, Not the People.”
Dakar – Mobility across the arid African Sahel region is a long-standing tradition and is considered a critical livelihood and adaptation strategy for millions in one of the world’s harshest environments.
Moscow/Nur Sultan – The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on Central Asia and the Russian Federation, where migration influences every aspect of daily life.