Protecting Refugees from COVID-19: Identifying Barriers to Safer Practices during Humanitarian Assistance

Nawyn, S.J., Karaoğlu, E, Gasteyer, S.P., Hammad, A
Publication language
Date published
01 May 2021
Research, reports and studies
COVID-19, Protection, human rights & security
Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey

To improve the safety of refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian NGOs have instituted safety protocols to minimise the risk of infection spread during services to refugees. This report summaries the findings of a study that explored how COVID-19 safety protocols were followed in 3 countries - Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Data was collected through interviews with NGO staff and observations.

Based on the key findings, 3 recommendations for humanitarian stakeholders are provided. First, to ensure that correct resources are used given the finding that availability doesn’t necessarily equate to use. Second to emphasise protocol adherence as a habit not a choice, given the finding that adherence to protocols was better in contexts that staff and refugees likely felt were riskier, and worse where they felt safer. Third, to address COVID scepticism among refugees and staff to not only ensure better adherence to protocols, but also refugees’ willingness to be vaccinated.

This research was supported by the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Programme