Coronavirus – Africa: International Organization for Migration (IOM) COVID-19 – Impact on internally displaced persons (IDPs) – Weekly Update

Coronavirus – Africa: International Organization for Migration (IOM) COVID-19 – Impact on internally displaced persons (IDPs) – Weekly Update

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GENEVA, Switzerland — Important: This update strives to use terms in conformity with the IOM’s Glossary on Migration to describe issues faced by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the sensitive nature of the information, those terms are used to the best of our knowledge and within the limit of our possibilities to confirm political correctness while producing a weekly update. The update is external and the information contained in it is sensitive. Corrections are very welcomed and should be submitted to DTM COVID-19dtmcovid19idps@iom.int for ensuring consistency of information in the database repository.

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Weekly updates on “Impact on IDPs” are a collaboration between DTM and CCCM in drafting and reviewing; MHD, PRD and TRD in technical guidance and sharing of files. The objective of these reports is to gather better situational awareness of the spread and impact of COVID19 among internally displaced populations globally, with a view to ensuring informed public health response and accountability for provision of care to vulnerable populations. The methodology includes integrating direct reporting from IOM Regional Offices and Country Missions, IOM sitreps, IOM files and media outlets, as well as public media outlets. Sources are weighed for relevance and accuracy, and then condensed into summaries by country. Instances of reported cases of IDPs with COVID-19 are checked for confirmation and monitored for continuing developments. Limitations include dependence on IDP cases being reported in public media. Cases emerging in countries without IOM presence and/or that go unreported in the media could be potential blind spots. For feedback, corrections, additions or removal from mailing list please get in touch with DTM COVID-19 dtmcovid19idps@iom.int.

Summary

People affected by humanitarian crises, particularly those displaced and living in communal settings, are often faced with challenges including vulnerabilities distinct from those of the general population. These vulnerabilities are further heightened by the disparate health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. As recently reported by IDMC, global figures of internally displaced persons (IDPs) reached an all-time high at the end of 2019. Conflict and disasters have triggered 33.4 million new internal displacements across 145 countries and territories in 2019. In particular, the number of new disaster related IDPs have increased to 24.9 million in 2019 (compared to 17.2 million in 2018). This is the highest figure recorded since 2012 and three times the number of new displacements caused by conflict and violence.

The movement restrictions and measures being imposed by countries, territories and areas as a response to the pandemic are directly impacting the daily lives and circumstances of IDPs and host communities. Livelihoods are being interrupted and access to healthcare, where it is available, remains limited. Many communities hosting internally displaced populations lack adequate investment into health, water and sanitation facilities, in addition to the issues of overcrowding, poor shelter, scarce resources and limited access to reliable information. The impact felt by these communities not only increases humanitarian need but also exasperates the existing and already complex barriers for IDPs to seek solutions.

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