The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged the host nations to take effective steps for distributing relief i.e food and basic commodities among the refugees who are forcibly displaced by conflicts and violence, as the situation is turning intolerably dreadful in the camps.
"The evidence of deep and hard-hitting economic impact of the crisis on refugees is overwhelming. We received over 350,000 calls from the refugees and internally displaced people across the Middle East and North Africa alone since the force of lockdown came down in many countries." said Andrej Mahec, a UNHCR spokesperson in a press conference at Geneva on May 1.
"The majority asked for urgent financial assistance to cover their daily existential needs," he added.
Among the refugees, female heads of households, unaccompanied and separated children, elderly persons, and LGBTQAI persons are at particular risk of poverty and exploitation, said a press release issued by UNHCR.
In the Middle East region, refugees have reported losing their livelihoods and are struggling to find food on their plates. In a survey conducted by UNHCR in late April among the refugees of Lebanon had reported that "70% had to skip their meals".
A similar situation is existing in the other nations especially the neighbouring countries around Syria who are sheltering 5.6 million Syrian refugees. There has been a reported increase in evictions or threats of evictions in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia.
In another part of Asia, around 2.5 million Afghan refugees are struggling to pull through in Iran and Pakistan. Both countries have registered Afghan refugees and migrants who are finding it hard to purchase basic commodities, pay house rent, medical treatment, electricity bills, internet bill etc.
Internally displaced people in Syria and Afghanistan are also facing an overwhelming threat of rising poverty level.
Meanwhile, Latin America is facing the world's largest displacement crisis especially in countries like Venezuela and Colombia where people are fleeing their homelands. Also, around 100,000 Nicaraguan and Venezuelans refugees and asylum-seekers are at risk of homelessness or are already being evicted from their shelters in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
Refugees who are trying to make ends meet on the streets by begging, hawking or sexwork often unable to comply with quarantine measures and are being used as scapegoat, stigmatised or are at risk of detention from the host communities.
In the North of Central America, the consequences of the lockdown coupled with increased violence and extortion from armed gangs are bearing heavily on internally displaced people and at-risk communities, many who survive on informal work and day jobs. In Mexico, mass layoffs have put around 7500 people at risk of slipping into poverty
In such testing conditions, UNHCR is urging countries to come forward and ensure the social safety of these helpless people as well as surviving assistance.
And UNHCR is continuing to provide emergency assistance including cash-based assistance, secure shelter spaces and to ensure the inclusion of refugees in national public health responses, in social safety nets and any assistance plans across all regions.