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Washington DC, May 22 (Canadian-Media): The Government of the United States is providing nearly USD 28.5 million in new funds to support the International Organization for Migration (IOM) COVID-19 response globally. The contribution will provide vital humanitarian assistance to refugees, vulnerable migrants and host communities in almost 30 countries, IOM reports said.
IOM. Image credit: Twitter handle
Since the outbreak started, more than 4.5 million cases and over 300,000 deaths have been reported worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Concentrations of cases amongst migrants in different parts of the world have continued to emerge in recent weeks.
Migrants are often vulnerable due to the circumstances of their journey, and the pandemic has only exacerbated those conditions. Many encounter obstacles in accessing adequate shelter, food, medical care and essential supplies. Finding credible, culturally and linguistically tailored information on risks, hygiene and services can sometimes be another barrier.
“The lack of health resources can leave migrants exposed to vulnerable and exploitative situations,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino.
“IOM is especially concerned with meeting the growing needs of displaced populations most at risk, including women and girls, children, people with disabilities and the elderly.”
Support from the United States will help address the increasing threats and challenges affecting migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Turkey and other countries. Scaling up preparedness and response measures as well as delivering basic services to people on the move is critical in order to minimize COVID-19's spread and reduce mortality rates.
IOM launched its revised COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan of $499 million to tackle the far-reaching consequences of this public health crisis. The US donation now brings the total amount funded to nearly USD 100 million or 20 per cent.