Originally posted on Our World by United Nations Univeristy, 11 December 2020
Author: Nidhi Nagabhatla, Principal Researcher, Water Security (UNU-INWEH)
This article is part of a United Nations University Migration Network series that explores the interrelations and acute challenges of migration, climate change, and COVID-19. As a build-up to International Migrants Day on 18 December 2020, the series examines these connections at local and global levels, highlights impacts on migrants, and provides evidence-based insights for United Nations member states, governments, and policymakers.
Managing multiple challenges during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and planning beyond the pandemic, is proving a tough task for states, leaders, and communities globally. The spectrum of crises ‘as of’ or ‘due to’ the pandemic calls for inclusive, sensitive, and participatory planning, support, and programmes. In the Central Africa region the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on people and communities, including migrants, highlight some uncomfortable facts, with media outlets and development agencies reporting bleak narratives from locals suffering from the COVID-19 situation.
The overwhelming health response required to combat outbreaks of measles, tuberculosis, and other life-threatening infectious diseases like Ebola, have rendered the region’s health systems stressed. In May 2020, Doctors Without Borders reported how multiple disease outbreaks in Central Africa had led to delayed vaccination campaigns and disease prevention measures. However, the situation is particularly acute in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — a country with a significant refugee ( > 500,000) and internally displaced (5 million) population due to conflicts and other triggers related to water and climate crises and outbreaks of disease.
Photo: Shutterstock/Riccardo Mayer