The coronavirus has taken over the globe. In March 2020, COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic and just by April, 1 million of its cases had spread worldwide. First, let's shed light on how all the countries have prepared to combat this threatening pandemic. Basic directions issued for safety include social isolation, usage of sanitizers and masks made compulsory all over the world. Due to global lockdown and following the prohibition of crowd gatherings, it has become risky for refugees to stay together in crowded camps.
There are almost 25 million refugees all across the world. Myanmar, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia make up the top five countries where refugees come from. Their countries of the settlement include Turkey, Germany, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan and Pakistan. This calls for extra protection for the refugees since the countries giving them shelter are amongst the poorer and developing ones. So, other critical issues faced by the refugees include unemployment, no internet facilities, and of course, poor sanitation and infrastructure. So many of these refugees are children, with no guardians, parents or family members to look up to.
It is also important to point out that in these extra difficult times of COVID-19, many camps don't have hospital and health care facilities such as ICU and ventilators. So to assure social isolation within these camps, a method called 'shielding' is being employed. Using this method, elderly people aged 60 and above, and people suffering from previous medical conditions within a particular group or family, are taken away from other members. In this way, those who are at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, are protected first and foremost.
For people with privilege, the slogan "Stay Home, Stay Safe" is relevant and easy to act upon. Whereas the lives of people who have no homes to go to and live in, are at stake. Some were forced to flee their countries, and some were forced to abandon their homes within their countries, out of fear of prosecution or discriminatory issues.
Regardless of all the chaos and restrictions, here's how you can lend a helping hand to the refugees:
- Donations to organisations such as the UN Refugee Agency and Help Refugees, or volunteering your skills to local health organisations.
- You can also volunteer to host a refugee for free in your own home, via the Open Homes service launched by Airbnb, until they offer to pay rent.
- And if all that isn't feasible, you can do something as simple as sign a petition.
Infographic by: Vengage.com