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 Steps Up Risk Communication and Community Engagement in Response to COVID-19 in West and Central Africa

Dakar – In West and Central Africa, the spread of COVID-19 has been accompanied by a contagion of misinformation, creating fear and uncertainty among certain communities.   

IOM Supports Displaced Persons and Communities in Fight Against COVID-19 in the Philippines

Manila – As the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases rises in the Philippines, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is focusing on supporting against the spread of the pandemic the most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) and communities across the southern region of Mindanao.  

Mozambican Workers Returning from South Africa Engaged to Check COVID-19's Spread

Maputo – Concern about the potential spread of COVID-19 in Mozambique was elevated in late March, when according to Mozambique’s National Migration Service (SENAMI) over 14,000 Mozambican migrants returned from South Africa over the Ressano Garcia border within a span of a few days, as South Africa declared lockdown due to COVID-19.  

IOM Ramps Up Response to Covid-19 Pandemic for Refugees in Indonesia

Jakarta – As governments around the world scramble to procure scarce ventilators critical in the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is joining efforts to meet the request of the Government of Indonesia for ventilators and other essential medical supplies.

Local Medics Team Up with Diaspora to Battle COVID-19 in Cyberspace

Yerevan – Doctors in Yerevan and New York have teamed up to share knowledge on how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out Stateside. What is unusual about this exchange is that it took place online and involved representatives of the Armenian diaspora in the Big Apple. 

IOM, Panamá Prepare COVID-19 Response for 2,500 Migrants Stranded at Borders

Panamá City—Panamá not only links two continents—North and South America—it also connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific, making the small country a key link in world migration going back centuries.  

Migrant Returnees Lead Community Outreach for COVID-19 in West Africa

Dakar – In response to the growing Covid-19 pandemic, the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Migrants as Messengers project is raising awareness to prevent the spread of the disease. Youthful volunteers across West Africa are spreading the word in vulnerable communities.  

IOM Supports Guinea-Bissau’s Preparedness and Response to COVID-19

Bissau – With 40 confirmed cases as of 14 April 2020, Guinea-Bissau is one of the least affected countries with COVID-19 in West Africa. But this has not stopped the small West African country from heightening its preparation and developing its response to the emergency.  

IOM Launches USD 499 Million Expanded COVID-19 Response Plan to Help Address Critical Socio-Economic Impacts of Pandemic

Geneva – As the number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to rise, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has expanded the scope of its Global Strategic Preparedness and

"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