UN chief calls for protection of refugees during pandemic





New York - United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for the protection of refugees and internally displaced people, who he said are particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.



In a video message, Guterres said people on the move face a health crisis, as they often live in crowded conditions and lack tools to protect themselves from the virus.
At the same time, a socio-economic crisis is impacting those with precarious livelihoods.
"The loss of income from Covid-19 is likely to lead to a colossal 109-billion-dollar drop in remittances. That's the equivalent of nearly three-quarters of all official development assistance that is no longer being sent back home to the 800 million people who depend on it," he said.
People on the move also face a protection crisis, with many states closing their borders to asylum seekers, and amid skyrocketing xenophobia, racism and stigmatization.
The UN chief launched a policy brief which calls for an inclusive public health and socio-economic response; border controls that respect the rights of people on the move; the accessibility of diagnostics, treatment and vaccines; and the reduction of transaction costs for remittances.
"No country can fight the pandemic or manage migration alone. But together, we can contain the spread of the virus, buffer its impact on the most vulnerable and recover better for the benefit of all," Guterres said.

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Wednesday, June 3rd 2020
(dpa)
           


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