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The Incidence of Forced Migration and Access to COVID-19 Services in West Africa

Background

The paper focuses on the accessibility of COVID-19 services to forced migrants in selected countries in West Africa. The selected countries are Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. The work is also focused on the risk of forced migrants to the contraction of the COVID-19; and the integration of forced migrants into COVID-19 national response programmes in West Africa.

Methods

The study was by desk research based on secondary sources of data from the United Nations, government and nongovernmental organizations, and other relevant publications.

Results

Findings revealed that forced migrants in conflict-stricken areas have no or little access to COVID-19 services. It was also discovered that forced migrants are not adequately included in COVID-19 national response plans.

Conclusion

COVID-19 response strategies at both sub-regional and national levels are not targeted at forced migrants or hard-to-reach populations. Poor living conditions are one of the many factors that make forced migrants vulnerable to the contraction of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases in IDP and refugee camps.

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