A refugee girl washes her hands during the COVID-19 pandemic

A young girl wears a protective mask in Dhaka, Bangladesh.   © Ritzau Scanpix

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak is a global public health emergency – a pandemic affecting the whole planet.

The world’s 70.8 million displaced people are particularly vulnerable.

Refugee settlements are often overcrowded, making social distancing all but impossible. Hygiene and handwashing are tough when hundreds of people share one tap. And medical facilities for refugees were often overstretched even before this crisis began.

This is not business as usual. Extraordinary measures are needed.

The UN Refugee Agency is asking for more than a billion Australian dollars (USD745 million) to boost preparedness, prevention and response activities for refugees and host communities.


How displaced people around the world are taking part in the response; and how Australians are stepping up to support them.


How can we live our lives, now the only certainty is uncertainty? Lessons from the refugee experience.

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