How WHO is supporting refugees and migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new agreement between WHO and the UN Refugee Agency will strengthen and advance public health services[1] for the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

It adds to the agreement signed in 2019 with The International Organization for Migration and is the latest in a series of efforts to prevent public health emergencies and address health needs in refugee and migrant populations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency have signed a new agreement[2] to strengthen and advance public health services for the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

A key aim this year is to support ongoing efforts to protect some 70 million displaced people from COVID-19. Around 26 million are refugees, 80% of whom are sheltered in low and middle-income countries with weak health systems.

“The principle of solidarity and the goal of serving vulnerable people underpin the work of both our organizations,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We stand side by side in our commitment to protect the health of all people who have been forced to leave their homes and to ensure that they can obtain health services when and where they need them. The ongoing pandemic only highlights the vital importance of working together so we can achieve more.”

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