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: infosessionsUK@iom.int. 

 

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 euss@iom.int 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

USD 1.44 Billion Needed to Support Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela amid COVID-19

Geneva – Today, IOM, the International Organization for Migration, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, launch a USD 1.44 billion regional plan to respond to the growing needs of refugees and migrants fr

Over 100 stranded Ugandan Women Provided with Return Assistance from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kampala/Riyadh – On Tuesday (01/12) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 105 stranded Ugandan women, including victims of trafficking, to return home from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). They were stranded due to COVID-19.

IOM Provides Food Vouchers to Vulnerable Refugees and Migrants Affected by COVID-19 in Brazil

Brasilia – Nearly 4,000 vulnerable refugees and migrants in Brazil affected by mobility restrictions and the socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are receiving vouchers from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to purchase food and other basic items.  The vouchers are one-time offers, valued at about USD 100. 

IOM Provides Personal Protective Equipment to Two Frequently Used Points of Entry in Vientiane Capital

Lao People’s Democratic Republic – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Department of Immigration, General Department of Public Security, the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) recently (25-11) handed over personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline border officials at Wattay International Airport and Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I to better protect travelers, migrants, frontline officials, and ensure safe and effective migration and border management during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Ministers from East and Horn of Africa Pledge to Harmonize Labour Migration Laws to Protect Migrant Workers’ Rights

Nairobi—The entirety of humankind’s history begins in East Africa, with early Africans’ outbound migration towards Europe and the Middle East. That movement continues, especially now, with some five million recent African migrants living and working outside the continent.     

IOM Charter Flight Brings Home over 150 Ghanaian from Libya

Tripoli/Accra– Over 150 Ghanaians were provided with Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance from Libya by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on 24 November. This the charter flight is the first since the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), in Accra following COVID-19 related border closures. 

IOM Charter Flight Brings Home over 150 Ghanaians from Libya

Tripoli/Accra– Over 150 Ghanaians were provided with Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance from Libya by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on 24 November. This the charter flight is the first since the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), in Accra following COVID-19 related border closures. 

“Include Migrants in Vaccine Plans,” IOM Urges at Regional Health Conference

Skopje – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has issued an urgent call to Governments not to forget migrants as the battle against COVID-19 enters a new phase.  

"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