Women, people living in urban settings and refugees and migrants have been worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic says a Red Cross research.
Refugee women living in crowded urban settings have experienced the worst impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent research from the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC).
The report, titled ‘Drowning just below the surface’ sheds light on who has been most impacted by the pandemic and how.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused increased unemployment and poverty and increased food insecurity, it has simultaneously heightened vulnerabilities to violence and impacted opportunities for children, especially their education. It has also exacerbated mental health issues.
The report says that “the exclusion of people with migrant backgrounds from government assistance and other support has meant they experienced disproportionate harms from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Summarising the findings of the report, IFRC president Francesco Rocca says that the destructive impacts of the pandemic on society’s fabric could be felt in the decades to come.
“People who were already vulnerable, due to conflict, climate-change, and poverty, have been pushed further towards the edge,” he says. “And many people who were previously able to cope have become vulnerable, needing humanitarian support for the first time in their lives.”
The report alludes to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health, according to which, the restrictions accompanying the pandemic caused spikes in loneliness, depression, harmful drug use, self-harm and suicidal behaviours, indicating that some Afghans were resorting to negative or adverse coping strategies.
One assessment the report says, found that “58 to 71 per cent of households in Afghanistan observed a change of behaviour in at least one family member in the past year, including angry or aggressive behaviour, avoiding going to work, and substance abuse.”