Period. 29 September - 5 October 2020
  • The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) released its mid-year update last week, highlighting the catalyzing role of COVID-19 alongside conflict and violence that led to 4.8 million people being displaced in Africa and the Middle East, an increase of more than one million people when compared to the previous year. While countries like Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo constitute the largest net drivers of forced displacement (with 1.5 and 1.4 million people, respectively), the situation in Burkina Faso is quickly devolving into the worst displacement crisis in West Africa, with over 420,000 at-risk population being forcibly displaced due to armed conflict. The IDMC Director noted that the pandemic has limited access to health care while increasing economic hardship and protection risks for displaced communities. In Syria, Save the Children reports that an additional 700,000 children face chronic hunger, with one in eight face developmental risks such as stunting, due to a collapsing economy (including the crash of its local currency) and COVID-19 restrictions. During its annual consultation with NGOs, the Chairman of the UNHCR stressed that the biggest challenge would be to shield refugees from the economic impacts of the pandemic, which has hit the most marginalized the hardest. The international community was also urged to ensure refugees are included in social safety nets and support services.

This development is part of the digest;