Key Regional Updates
As of 05 August 2020, a total of 959,935 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, with 17,683 deaths reported in the region.
The devastating explosion in Beirut on 04 August 2020 is certain to amplify an already dire humanitarian situation across Lebanon. The incident occurred when Lebanon was contending with the impacts of COVID-19, an ongoing economic emergency, rising unemployment and civil unrest. While the impacts of the explosion on Lebanon's more than 400,000 labour migrants and estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees is unclear, the effects of the explosion and destruction of the port will significantly increase needs.
The Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen (RMRP) 2020 Appeal was launched on 05 August 2020. The appeal is a migrant-focused humanitarian and development multi-year strategy. It brings together multiple partners in terms of coordination, protection, capacity building, analysis and resource mobilization. The plan aims to meet the humanitarian and protection needs of an estimated 235,000 vulnerable migrants, including 75,000 projected new arrivals in Yemen. The RMRP contains an integrated COVID-19 response to ensure appropriate migrant assistance activities. This is inclusive of support for quarantine sites, personal protective equipment (PPE), and for governments' preparedness.
The IOM MENA Regional Office and the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office issued a joint statement to ensure the safety and health of migrants and displaced populations in the context of COVID-19. The statement emphasized that universal health coverage needs to include all migrants and displaced persons, regardless of their legal status, to effectively tackle COVID-19 and other public health threats. They also appealed to governments to create the necessary conditions for migrants and returnees to be able to seek health care without fear of legal repercussion.