Migrants and COVID-19 – Emerging Practices

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Migrants, particularly in lower-paid jobs and in the informal sector, are not only prone to the health threats from COVID-19 as host populations but may also face particular vulnerabilities due to their condition of mobility. Additionally, migrants also face obstacles in accessing health care and other public services. The economic effects of COVID-19 highlights the urgent need to develop social protection responses that factor the needs of migrants, including returnees and other vulnerable rural-urban internal migrants trapped by the movement restrictions and heavily impacted due to loss of jobs and income.

Considering these challenges, there are emerging responses from international agencies, NGOs, and governments around the world to COVID-19 that aim at mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19. In India, shelter camps have been opened for migrant labourers in urban areas and the public employment programme, MGNREGA is providing universal wage employment even during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar showcased the efforts propelled by Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in response to the challenges facing migrant workers after the lockdown period ends, including support in securing wage work and livelihood options. Additionally, the international NGO perspective was included to highlight collaborative programmes in humanitarian assistance and social protection to alleviate the socio-economic impacts and risks from COVID-19 on the most affected migrants.

Through these efforts, the webinar explored how COVID-19 has impacted migrant communities as well as its implications for future work in providing a means of livelihoods and the need for countries to expand social protection actions to include this population segment.

 

Panellists: 

Gabriela Benitez, World Vision Ecuador Humanitarian Response Manager

Rajeev Ahal, Director, Natural Resources Management and Agroecology, GIZ India

Virginia Negro, Specialist for the Western Hemisphere Regional Migration Program, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

 

Moderator:

Nancy Landa, Technical Advisor, Skills for Reintegration Global Program – Pilot Project in Mexico, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ GmbH

 

This is the eighteenth webinar of the “Social protection responses to COVID-19” webinar seriesThe series is a joint effort initiated by the IPC-IGGIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Australia Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) collaboration with the socialprotection.org platform, and in cooperation with partners from different organisations. Join our online community ''Social protection responses to COVID-19 [Task force]'' to learn more about the initiative and future webinars.