“Every day we see stories of migrants and refugees escaping violence, discrimination, disaster, massed at often unwelcoming borders, risking their lives in leaky boats on deadly seas for the chance of a better, safer life. Like so many of the challenges the world faces, this is a universal problem requiring a collective, coherent response.”– Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund

40 million displaced persons globally, 25 million displaced persons annually, according to the 2019 IOM report. Positioning displacement as one of the most critical issues faces nations, communities, governments, and individuals worldwide. The movements of displacement among affected groups; who forced by several factors to leave their homes and seek refuge, vary due to natural disasters, widespread diseases, economic unbalanced conditions, and political disturbances, and many others. Contributing to forced and unplanned migration to other communities and different countries. 

 Many displaced individuals find themselves forced to face internal migration and end up in the state of displacement within their country, but moving to another community that would offer better chances of survival. The resulting pressure on the hosting communities; which are struggling with fulfilling their own needs, and lacking proper health care services, sufficient economic opportunities, shortage in state service and humanitarian aids.

During the migration phase, moving populations themselves face many health issues and complications; which most likely increase the situation in the recipient environments for both the newcomers and existing populations. Some of these issues would be linked with causes of mortality and even morbidity rates, such as HIV, violence, lack of treatment, high exposure to disease vectors, insufficient vaccination coverage, inadequate shelter, overcrowding, disrupted feeding practices, insufficient nutrient intake, and poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions.

But year 2020 stroke was a major factor that tipped the scales, however, it wasn’t in favor of the countries facing great issues within their health care systems. To leave the communities dealing with displaced populations in a critical situation, even struggling under the pressure and the need for proper medical and health care services; that would serve both its inhabitants and the forcibly displaced. What nations need to strictly apply during this unprecedented pandemic is managing their border restrictions and including both their communities and the refugees into the health care schemes. While refugees struggle to find adequate living conditions in a fragile situation, the COVID-19 pandemic hardens this struggle and pursuit.  

As the masses of the global struggle for their lives, we do not want to forget about displacement causes that require immediate and radical tackling. However, governments and systems remain in the struggle to provide the essential care their communities require and need, due to financial restraints and availability of resources obstacles. Not adding the issues of the displaced populations to the equation, their health issues included. Although the international governmental and multilateral agencies and NGOs allocate financial resources to support the endeavors of hosting communities, the individuals themselves have a role to play. In addition to eradicating the causes of displacement. “Because it is more and more clear that we’re all in the same boat. And there is no quick fix. We need to solve the problems that have led to this.” – Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund.

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