In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, 19 out of 19 countries have included refugees in their national COVID-19 vaccination programs or plans.
UNHCR works with national and local authorities to improve access to basic and social services for forcibly displaced people and encourage their socio-economic inclusion.
UNHCR also continues to provide targeted protection services assistance to persons of concern in the MENA region to address the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
16.1 million people of concern in the MENA region (2022 forecast figure), including:
12.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs)
2.4 million refugees and asylum seekers
712,000 IDPs and repatriated refugees
209,000 stateless persons
19 out of 19 MENA countries are including people of concern in the national health response to COVID-19
In 2022, UNHCR’s response to COVID-19 continues to focus on advocacy for the inclusion of people of concern to UNHCR in national public health systems and other national responses. To mitigate the socio-economic and protection impacts of COVID-19, UNHCR will continue to adapt its assistance, in particular cash-based programming which has demonstrated immediate positive mitigation effects, thus helping to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic for forcibly displaced people and their host communities.
As of 2022, UNHCR’s ongoing COVID-19 programming, including in the health, WASH, shelter, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) and protection sectors, has been fully ‘integrated’ into Global Appeal activities.
UNHCR is working closely with government authorities, partners, forcibly displaced persons and host communities within the Inter-Agency Coordination Forum to ensure a harmonized response to emerging needs, including through communication with communities to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers remain informed about the COVID-19 situation and its impact, and ensure their access to essential protection services.