As World Refugee Day approaches on June 20th, expect to see more stories like this one about the plight of a growing number of refugees (they are always growing, so nothing new there!) whose movement is blocked not by racist border restrictions, but by the Chinese Virus that has closed borders since late March.
On March 22nd the United Nations, with its branch called the International Organization for Migration that facilitates refugee travel, shut down almost all refugee movement.
Indeed it had to because 150 countries have closed their borders completely or have strict requirements for movement across them.
I had been wondering if the UN is restarting the flow, but apparently not.
The story at Stuff is mostly about New Zealand that had just begun in earnest to ‘welcome’ the third world when COVID began its deadly spread.
But, here are a couple of bits that interested me besides learning that the UN continues to be responsible for the moratorium, not Donald Trump as I see most days in the US media.
Scores of refugees in limbo as quota system in holding pattern due to Covid-19
As we approach World Refugee Day on June 20 we have the highest number of refugees worldwide than ever before.
According to the latest UNHCR figures, there are 70.8 million forcibly displaced people, including more than 41 million internally displaced people and 25 million refugees.
Only 1 per cent of those 25 million refugees are resettled. That number is now at zero because of Covid-19.
More than 150 countries have closed their borders or put in border restrictions.
The vast majority of them have no exceptions for people claiming asylum.
They have no exceptions for refugees who need to flee their countries because of persecution, human rights abuses or war to be able to bypass border restrictions connected to Covid-19.
Flow of money is stopping too!
Rarely do we hear about the amount of money that refugees and migrants send HOME from the country where they have migrated to—money lost to the host country’s economy.
Migrant workers would not able to send money home to support their families and communities in their countries. The economic impact on those migrant workers and the decline in their livelihoods is going to have a massive impact on remittances, he adds.
“Latest figures are that remittances will go down $100 billion globally.”
More here if you are interested.