A kid wears a protective mask as a preventive measure against the spread of Coronavirus in Dhaka.
© Ritzau Scanpix

COVID-19 Crisis Appeal

Your support will protect refugees and displaced people with vaccinations and awareness campaigns.

“The worst of crises requires the best of humanity. Now is the time for action. With your support, we can save lives.”

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Three years after the COVID-19 crisis began, UNHCR is still working hard to ensure displaced people have access to vaccines and health services.

Refugees and other displaced people have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Border closures have made it more difficult for people fleeing conflict and other crises to find safety. Those who manage to escape often live in crowded camps and informal settlements, where isolation and social distancing aren’t possible or practical.

These settlements often have limited water, sanitation systems and health facilities.

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have also destroyed livelihoods and pushed displaced people deeper into poverty. With the vast majority of refugees hosted in countries already under economic strain, refugees struggle to compete for work and are at risk of exclusion from health initiatives.

Alphonsine’s story

Congolese refugee Alphonsine Mayamba, 20, volunteers as a health worker in Angola’s Lôvua settlement. She felt relieved and hopeful when she first heard that refugees and asylum seekers would be included in Angola’s national vaccination plan.

Alphonsine was among the first people in the settlement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and now provides information and counselling to other refugees.

“Some refugees are still very hesitant about the vaccine because of fear and what they have heard,” says Alphonsine.

Alphonsine says she is encouraged by the number of refugees who have changed their minds, thanks to regular awareness campaigns.

Global vaccine inequality means that so far more than 80 per cent of doses have been given in high and upper middle-income countries.


Your gift can provide vaccines and healthcare for refugees affected by COVID-19.

Cash Assistance

Your gift can provide cash assistance to help supplement lost incomes.


Your gift can provide hygiene supplies such as soap, sanitiser and hand-washing stations to stop the spread of disease.

Our fundraising commitment

The majority of funds raised by Australia for UNHCR are directed to UNHCR’s emergency operations, providing the ready funds and resources to respond quickly and effectively in situations of crisis and disaster.

Humanitarian programs