Crowded Into Camps, Refugees Are Sitting Ducks For COVID-19

Thomas Reese

The number of refugees in the world may decline this year, but not for a good reason. Today, there are about 70 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, of whom 41 million are internally displaced in their own countries and 26 million are refugees, forced to flee their homelands.

Refugees and displaced persons live under conditions ideal for the spread of COVID-19: packed together in tents or crowded into housing where social distancing is impossible. There are very limited facilities for washing hands. The medical facilities, if there are any, are unable to keep up with current needs, let alone a pandemic.

In an ideal world, these refugees would be able to return to their countries, settle where they are now or be allowed into countries that would welcome them. That is not going to happen.

Most refugees fled their countries because of political, racial, ethnic or religious persecution or because their countries are ravaged by war. The factors that led them to leave their countries have not changed for the better. Nor will they be welcomed elsewhere, with nations shutting their borders to newcomers.

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