Friday, July 24, 2020

Pandemic - Red Cross Warnings

The coronavirus crisis could spark huge waves of fresh migration once borders reopen, the head of the Red Cross has warned. It comes as the WHO’s chief accused the US of making “untrue” and “unacceptable” claims against the global health body.
The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Jagan Chapagain, said he was deeply concerned about the secondary effects of the pandemic, as border closures and Covid-19 restrictions have driven millions into poverty.

“Increasingly we are seeing in many countries the impacts on the livelihoods and the food situation,” he said in an interview. 
Many people are already faced with the choice of risking exposure to the novel coronavirus or going hungry, Chapagain said, warning that the desperation being generated could have far-reaching consequences.
 “What we hear is that many people who are losing livelihoods, once the borders start opening, will feel compelled to move,” he said. “We should not be surprised if there is a massive impact on migration in the coming months and years.”
Potential migrants could feel that their chances of survival are better “on the other side of the sea,” Chapagain said without indicating any particular destination. People will base their decision to move on “the availability of [Covid-19] vaccines. If people see that the vaccine is say, for example, available in Europe but not in Africa, what happens?”

Chapagain also condemned efforts in some countries to secure vaccines for their own people first: “The virus crosses the border, so it is pretty short-sighted to think that I vaccinate my people but leave everybody else without vaccination, and we will still be safe,” he said.

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