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The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the lives of thousands of migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities throughout the East and Horn of Africa, leaving many individuals, communities and economies vulnerable and in need of additional support and protection.
COVID-19 induced movement restrictions and measures are directly impacting the daily lives of IDPs, refugees and host communities, especially in countries where many people rely on remittances.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is seeking approximately USD 87 million to support vital response and recovery activities in the East and Horn of Africa.
The funds requested in the COVID-19 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan (SRP) 2021 for East and Horn of Africa will ensure the continuation and scale up of essential health and other services. Funds will allow IOM to mitigate the long-term effects of the pandemic and inform response and recovery efforts by tracking the impact of COVID-19 on human mobility, and strengthening evidence-based decision-making.
IOM will also continue to advocate for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination for vulnerable populations, including migrants, IDPs, and affected communities.
“Even as countries start to roll out vaccination programmes to curtail the pandemic, migrants and other vulnerable groups risk being left out,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.
“Migrants remain among the most vulnerable to the loss of economic opportunities, eviction and homelessness, as well as stigmatization and exclusion from essential services.”
Throughout the region, livelihoods have been interrupted and access to healthcare remains limited. Many communities hosting IDPs lack adequate investment into health, water and sanitation. They often live in overcrowded areas with limited access to adequate shelter, resources and reliable information.
The region also hosts countries experiencing complex humanitarian crises and protracted conflict which have further been compounded by the pandemic.
IOM will work with governments and partners to support the inclusion of migrants in recovery and development planning, and medium and long-term socioeconomic recovery measures.
The COVID-19 SRP is aligned to the IOM Global Strategic Response and Recovery plan.