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
An interview* with three women living in a slum area in Pumwani, Majengo area, Nairobi county, Kenya revealed that Commercial Sex Workers (CSW) struggle to survive and gain income due to COVID-19 lockdown. Working primarily in the streets, from homes or from hotels the current situation left many with a serious shortage of income. With markets, bars and restaurants closed and a curfew between 7pm- 5am CSWs have lost clients. Many of them are young girls and single mothers who increasingly risk homelessness and fear for their ability to provide basic needs or next meal. The financial restrains mean that CSWs take increased risks to provide for themselves and family. More dangerous clients are accepted and many of CSWs move from a more protected environment out on the streets.
International organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) face a storm of disinformation and blame surrounding their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. This includes xenophobic reactions from populations, but also political blame. The criticism is leading to obstacles for the organisations providing much-needed aid to vulnerable populations, particularly in areas of Africa, due to restricted funding and threats.