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 and Norwegian Refugee Council Give Assistance to Thousands of COVID-19 Returnee Migrants in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, and NRC, the Norwegian Refugee Council, are delivering essential aid to over 23,500 migrants in Ethiopia who have recently returned to the country due t

IOM Facilitates Return of 185 Mongolians Stranded in Czechia

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the Governments of Mongolia and Czechia, has assisted 185 Mongolians to return home this week (11-08). The group were part of 250 Mongolians stranded in Czechia and some eastern European countries after borders were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICC, IOM Launch COVID-19 Guidance for the Protection of Migrants

Geneva/ Paris - The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week are releasing employer guidance for measures to protect migrants during COV

IOM, Government of Greece Assist 134 Iraqi Migrants with Voluntary Return

Athens — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Greece and the Hellenic authorities, in coordination with IOM Iraq and the diplomatic corps, organized the voluntary return of 134 Iraqi nationals who wished to return home from Greece. They left Athens Thursday (6/8) on a flight to Baghdad International Airport, where the first grooup of passengers disembarked. The flight then continued to Erbil International Airport. 

USD 84 Million Dollar Appeal to Assist African Migrants Affected by COVID-19 Launched by IOM and 27 Partners and Governments Across Horn of Africa and Yemen

Nairobi -  The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners from 27 humanitarian and development organisations and governments are appealing for USD 84 million to provide life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of African migrants and host community members affected by COVID-19 in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. The many partners include the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, among others. 

Somali Migrants Return Home After Several Months Stranded in Iran

Mogadishu – Eleven Somali nationals and Muhammed Hussein Abukar, Somalia’s ambassador to West Africa and Special Envoy to Iran, safely returned to Somalia after nearly six months of being stranded in the Islamic Republic of Iran due to COVID-19 global movement restrictions.

Warning of COVID Effect as Trafficking Cases Rise in Ukraine

Kyiv – New figures released by IOM today show a sharp rise in the number of Ukrainians identified as victims of trafficking and assisted from January to June 2020. The total – 800 – represents a leap of 40 per cent compared to the first half of the previous year.

Protecting Frontline Workers and Travellers at Dhaka’s International Airport

Dhaka – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) last week (23-07) started providing health screening facilities at Dhaka’s Hazarat Shajalal International Airport (HSIA), Bangladesh’s busiest. All outbound and inbound passengers will be checked at the health screening desks operated by Ministry of Health staff.

COVID-19 Testing for Truck Drivers Helps Open Trade in IOM-TMEA Partnership

Nairobi – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, is providing COVID-19 testing to thousands of truck drivers on Kenya’s borders. 

"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