UNHCR MENA COVID-19 Emergency Response Update #18 (1 – 30 April 2021)

Regional Developments

During the holy month of Ramadan, a rise in new COVID-19 cases was observed across several Middle Eastern and North African countries, including in Egypt, Iraq and Libya.

To support families during Ramadan, particularly given their depleted resources due to loss of livelihoods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR Libya started its Ramadan food distribution campaign in coordination with the World Food Programme. Some 5,340 refugees and asylum-seekers (1,454 families) were targeted as part of the campaign in Tripoli, alongside some 4,000 others targeted in Zawiya (45 km west of Tripoli), Zwara (102 km west of Tripoli) and Misrata (190 km east of Tripoli).

In Lebanon, UNHCR distributed food parcels in the Bekaa Valley as part of its Ramadan campaign, adding to it soap bars to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among persons of concern, while continuing COVID-19 awareness sessions. The food items covered 15 days during the month of Ramadan to benefit vulnerable refugee families.

Key Figures

• 20 out of 20 UNHCR countries / operations are reporting COVID-19 cases in the region

• 17.4 million people of concern in the Middle East and North Africa

• 12,553 cases of COVID-19 reported among persons of concern including fatalities since March 2020

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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