“Coronavirus will decimate refugee communities if we don’t act now,” a serious warning from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) that addresses the vulnerable situation of millions displaced people around the world. Secretary General of NRC, Jan Egeland, foresees a “catastrophe” with “devastating” consequence if the virus hits one of the overcrowded and sanitation lacking refugee or displacement sites. The same sentiment was echoed by the Head of Health for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Dr Esperanza Martinez, who said that the spread of the virus would be “impossible to manage” if it reached the displaced communities of Syria or Yemen. Health organizations have made a number of recommendations to protect against COVID-19, but unfortunately many refugees live in a situation in which they themselves as well as their host government cannot follow healthcare guidelines.
In this week’s news highlights: Rescue operations in Mediterranean may soon be fined €5500 per rescued person; NGOs appeal in case of France-Libya support; Conditions in centre in Germany exposed; Footage of detention centre shooting in Libya; Organisations urge IOM to stop returning Eritreans; Pan-African parliament holds session on refugees; Foreign military activity on the Horn increases; Sudan talks stall amid protests; Giffas in Eritrea increase; US deports more than half of Eritrean refugees; Eritrean Catholic Church representatives express concern; social networks shut down in Eritrea; and court case reveals tensions Qatar-Eritrea.
In this week’s news highlights: Hundreds of refugees demonstrate against entrapment and abuse in Libya; Mare Jonio and Sea Watch 3 boats to resume work at the end of May; Conference on democracy in Eritrea hits a nerve; Appointments for asylum in Greece set in 2023 – system is overloaded; Refugees in Europe live longer but are more traumatised, states report; EU planning a conference on Horn of Africa economic development; Religious freedom in Eritrea and Sudan; RSF still perpetrates crimes and violence in Darfur; Corruption in South Sudan; Refugees at risk over ‘voluntary’ return from Libya; Sudanese people refouled to Libya die in Meditteranean sea; One in three died along the central Mediterranean route in 2019.