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The Arab League expresses its appreciation for the efforts of its members in providing health care to refugees

Ambassador Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States, expressed her deep appreciation for the efforts made by the member states of the Arab League, to provide health care services to migrants and refugees, side by side with their citizens, and to integrate them into the most vulnerable groups, and their emphasis on The importance of continuing to integrate them into national plans to confront the Corona virus and ensure their access to vaccines.

This came during a high-level symposium on responding to the (Covid-19) pandemic in the Arab region, and integrating migrants and refugees in vaccination programs, organized by the International Organization for Migration and the League of Arab States, in coordination with the Regional Task Force on the (Covid-19) Pandemic, Migration and Mobility, which It started on September 29 and ended today.

Focusing on the efforts of governments, the symposium aimed to highlight the best practices that governments in the Arab region have followed to integrate vulnerable groups such as migrants, refugees and people on the move in their response to (Covid-19) in the context of ongoing vaccination programs.

The symposium also provided a platform for governments to share experiences and highlights and collectively work on migration governance across a whole-of-government approach.

For her part, IOM Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Carmela Godot said: The success of national vaccination campaigns is strongly linked to the extent of their comprehensiveness.

She stressed the importance of reforming all barriers, especially administrative and policy obstacles that impede the access of migrants, including irregular migrants, to vaccination and to comprehensive health care in general.

Representatives of governments from the Arab region and other relevant stakeholders, including civil society institutions, academics, and regional and international organizations participated in the symposium.

The outcome document of this symposium will also provide a summary of the main findings, challenges and recommendations with a view to informing the Global Forum for the Review of International Migration to be held in 2022.

It should be noted that in 2020, the Arab region hosted 41.4 million migrants and refugees, and the number of migrants from Arab countries reached 32.8 million, half of whom are still within the region, and 3.7 million refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reside in Arab countries.

Migrants, refugees and people on the move are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as they continue to work on the front lines of the pandemic, greatly contributing to the continuity of essential businesses, such as health care, food and various critical service sectors.

With the exacerbation of the crisis, many promising practices emerged across the region, as governments provide free health care regarding (Covid-19), including treatment, care and vaccines, regardless of the legal status of the recipients of treatment, and launched campaigns targeting public health and awareness. This is by granting amnesty periods and easing immigration conditions to ensure that migrants obtain legal status and formal employment.

The Regional Task Force on COVID-19, Migration and Mobility was established by the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, in addition to 13 United Nations agencies under the umbrella of the coalition based on migration issues. It is chaired by the League of Arab States, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and the International Labor Organization.