The rate of increase in cases of COVID-19 is becoming greater in all parts of the world. As many countries are adopting containment strategies, enforcing months of lockdowns and intensifying medical battles to save coronavirus patients, the everyday social and economic patterns of societies are being dramatically disrupted. Such disruptions are exacerbated for refugees and forcibly displaced people who live in overcrowded settings, and who are already experiencing difficulty accessing healthcare and support services. Humanitarian actors are also faced with the challenge of containing and mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across this most vulnerable community, and are advocating for their inclusion in national prevention and mitigation efforts.
During these unprecedented times, we must not lose sight of the impact of the pandemic on refugees and forcibly displaced people. As host governments and international aid groups are trying to figure out how best to move forward, there exists a clear gap when it comes to concrete evidence about the impact of COVID-19 on refugees, particularly those in urban settings, outside of refugee camps.
Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia University
Monette Zard (Moderator)
Allan Rosenfield Associate Professor of Forced Migration and Health, Columbia University
Senior Policy Advisor, UNHCR MENA Director’s Office, Amman – Jordan
Interim Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, AUB
Ling San Lau
Senior Program Officer, Program on Forced Migration and Health, Columbia University
Assistant Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University