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Saúde / 27/06/2020

COVID-19 cases in South America represent 87% of the total in Latin America; IOM asks for resources

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COVID-19 cases in South America represent 87% of the total in Latin America; IOM asks for resources

Fonte ONU

COVID-19 arrived in South America later than in other regions, but on May 21, of the 563,550 cases of the disease reported in Latin America by the World Health Organization (WHO), 491,499 are in South American countries (87% of the total).

Brazil has become the country with the highest number of infections by the new coronavirus in Latin America. Worldwide, only the United States and Russia recorded more cases.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched an urgent appeal last week (22), seeking $ 21.2 million to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable refugees and migrants and their host communities. in ten countries in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) for South America is a comprehensive and coordinated response that addresses immediate health concerns as well as the long-term socioeconomic impact of COVID-19. The plan also aims to combat misinformation that can lead to anti-migrant feelings, stigma and xenophobia.

In addition to the direct health risks of COVID-19, refugees and migrants in South America are facing significant and exacerbated socioeconomic and protection challenges. With the economic slowdown, refugees and migrants are among the most vulnerable communities at risk of stigmatization and exclusion.

"South America is now becoming one of the most affected regions in the world, ranking third in terms of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, after the USA and Europe," said Adriana Escariz, regional director of IOM for South America.

"Millions of migrants in the region need urgent help, especially the most vulnerable," he added. “Funding is urgently needed to respond to COVID-19 in a region that is already facing the outflow of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, one of the biggest external displacement crises in the world.”

South American countries have adopted restrictive human mobility measures to reduce the impact of the pandemic. Blockades, curfews, company closures and borders have caused migrants to lose their jobs, with negative impacts on incomes and remittances, often resulting in the loss of their regular migratory status and blocking the possibility of return.

All of these factors substantially increase the vulnerability. The closure of borders has caused a dire situation for hundreds of isolated individuals, some unable to meet the most basic needs, including food, accommodation and medical assistance.

There are about 10 million migrants living in South America different countries in the region and the world. Of these, 80% are intra-regional migrants, with Venezuela's migration being the most important in quantitative terms.

In general, the conditions of urban spaces in South America are fragile due to problems such as the deficit in public transport and health services and also the concentration of informal settlements.

A new pattern of internal migration has emerged this crisis, with a significant number of internal migrants moving large urban centers to small towns and rural villages located in the provinces, due to job loss or interruption of work in the informal sector.

According to the IOM global plan, the regional plan for South America focuses on four strategic priorities at the community, national and regional levels, which are:

Ensure a well-coordinated, informed and timely response through mobility tracking systems and strengthening partnerships and coordination structures established at the community, national and regional levels.

Contribute to global, regional, national and community efforts to prepare and respond to COVID-19 to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.

Ensuring access for affected people to basic goods and services, especially for people in the most vulnerable conditions, including health care and social and protective services.

Support international, national and local partners to respond to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.

The appeal can be downloaded here.

The IOM Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM's financing plans and requirements to respond to the growing needs and aspirations of those affected by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2020 and beyond. The Platform is regularly d as crises evolve and new situations arise.

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