- PPI Web Desk
New York: Already before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic over a year ago, forcibly displaced women and children have been at great risk of violence and other ill-treatment. A new report released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) yesterday says, that the impact of the pandemic increased the misery and suffering from these women and children. Their overall safety and wellbeing is at greater risk than ever before.
Worldwide 75 per cent of all refugees and migrants are women and children. The UNHCR fears that years of work and achievements to protect them from gender inequality, violence and other threats, has seen a major throw back during the global COVID-19 crisis.
The report “Covid deepens treats for displaced women and children” highlights pressing issues, such as gender-based violence, family separation and disrupted childhoods. 96 per cent of operations supervised by the UNHCR recognized a severe increase of gender-based violence of women and girls in displacement situations by the end of 2020. Separation of forcibly displaced children from parents marks one of the greatest risk and challenges to the protection of children worldwide. Amidst the pandemic, 1.58 billion children and youth, particularly refugee and migrant children, were negative affected by the weeks and months long closure of schools.
The UNHCR faces funding cuts and challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. Despite all these problems, the agency continues its vital work among displaced women and children.
The UNHCR in Lebanon continues to provide in-person support to women and children at high risk of gender-based violence, like emergency money in cash, remote support and psychosocial counselling via phone. In Bangladesh, refugee volunteers do door-to-door campaigns informing Rohingya refugees on available services and assistance for survivors of gender-based-violence. In Mexico, IOM and UNICEF joint hands with UNHCR to create child-friendly information materials on the COVID-19 disease and supported projects with activities for children during the lockdown.