UN chief calls for protection of refugees during pandemic

Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

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 faced a health crisis, as they often lived in crowded conditions and lacked tools to protect themselves from the virus.

“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 stigmatisation.

The UN chief launched a policy brief that calls for inclusive public health and socio-economic response, as well as border controls that respect the rights of people on the move.

“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. (dpa/NAN)

– Jun. 3, 2020 @ 16:35 GMT |

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