News highlights: Hundreds intercepted by Libyan coastguard, Greece implicated in illegal pushback of refugees, Eritrea celebrates independence amid criticism

This week’s news highlights: Eritrean prisoners defenseless against COVID-19; Eritrea celebrates 29 years of independence amid criticism; Urban refugees face increased struggle for basic needs in East Africa; Ethiopian migrants not aware of risks moving to Saudi Arabia, says IOM; Renewed intercommunal violence South Sudan; Eritrean refugee dies in migrant detention centre in Libya; Hundreds of people intercepted by Libyan coastguard in matter of days; Mercenaries from all over the world keep pouring in Libya despite UN embargo; The story of a boat that left Libya for Europe but disappeared; Greece accused of illegal pushbacks; Malta rescues 140 migrants and refugees in Mediterranean Sea but holds them offshore; France planning to relocate 750 asylum seekers from Greece; Story of how Eritrean child refugee survived shipwreck; EPP launches migration group; Webinar on Sea Rescue; And Oxfam withdraws from 18 countries.

News highlights: Eritrean refugee children at risk in Ethiopia, IOM concerned over missing refugees in Libya, Partnership between MSF and SOS Mediterranee ends

This week’s news highlights: Unaccompanied Eritrean refugee children at risk; Sex workers in Kenyan slums face difficulties due to COVID-19; Concern about conditions in Eritrea’s prisons; Plan to close Hitsats camp despite COVID-19 concerns; New locust swarms threaten East Africa harvests; African refugee camps at risk of COVID-19; Increasing needs for forcibly displaced children; Number of people facing food crisis will double, warns WFP; Half of German refugee camp tested positive for COVID-19; MSF ends partnership with SOS Mediterranee; Alan Kurdi odyssey ends; European rescue solidarity plan requested by 4 member states; Refugees tested positive for COVID-19 in Portugal and Greece; Survey impact COVID-19 pandemic on migrants and refugees; Concerns about missing migrants and refugees in Libya; And Stranded Tunisian migrants return home

Closed borders and COVID-19, the difficulty for refugees

The world’s 70 million displaced people are one of the groups most vulnerable to COVID-19 while having the least tools to combat it. With COVID-19 spreading across the globe many countries have closed their borders, including for refugees. At present, 93% of the world population lives in countries with border restrictions for non-citizens and 39% live in countries completely closed to non-citizens. Countries that have traditionally welcomed many refugees are closing their borders and reception facilities. This has resulted in uncertain and dangerous situations for refugees. Meanwhile, organizations like the World Health Organizations (WHO) question the long-term merits of closing the border.