Mixed Migration Centre: COVID-19 global update #4 – Impact of COVID-19 on refugees and migrants

This is the fourth update on the situation for refugees and migrants on mixed migration routes around the world in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on data collected by MMC in Asia, East Africa, Latin America, North Africa and West Africa. The objective of the global updates is to provide regular up-to-date findings on COVID-19 awareness, knowledge and risk perception, access to information, access to healthcare, assistance needs and the impact on refugees’ and migrants’ lives and migration journeys. Published once every two weeks, this series provides an aggregated overview; more detailed, thematic and response-oriented COVID-19 snapshots are also developed in each of the MMC regional offices and available here: mixedmigration.org/ resource-type/covid-19/

Key messages

  • Awareness and knowledge of the disease remain high, with most respondents taking measures to protect themselves. However, 18% of respondents in West Africa and an even higher proportion in Somaliland are not taking measures. Among them, 38% are not taking measures because they do not believe it is necessary.
  • There appear to be some gaps in information: in East Africa, fewer respondents noted that COVID-19 can be asymptomatic than elsewhere, and 67% of respondents in Malaysia believed children under five to be particularly at risk.
  • The need for assistance remains stable (86%), as does the proportion of respondents receiving assistance (20%, although this is likely to be overreported due to sampling methods). The kind of assistance needed varies across regions.
  • Perceptions of access to healthcare have not improved overall, although the percentage of respondents in Malaysia who believe they have access is high, at 77%.
  • 57% of respondents report loss of income, and this figure becomes even more striking when considering that 29% were not receiving an income. 65% report reduced access to work as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The percentage of respondents citing racism and xenophobia has slightly decreased since the previous update (from 20% to 18%). In Malaysia (30%, n=19), Somaliland (23%, n=12) and Tunisia (35%, n=250) higher than average percentages report increasing racism and xenophobia since the outbreak of COVID-19



Source: Mixed Migration Centre