LISTEN: CFR Discussion on How COVID-19 is Affecting Refugees

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Listen to HIAS VP of International Programs Rachel Levitan on a April 23, 2020 Council on Foreign Relations panel discussion on the challenges refugees are facing around the world during the COVID-19 crisis and what HIAS is doing to help.

“The economic impact of COVID has had a huge, and will continue to have a huge and devastating, economic impact on countries around the world, particularly in developing countries where we know about 85 percent of the world’s refugees live,” Levitan says. “[We are] figuring out modalities to transfer cash to refugees, asylum seekers, and others, whether through creating new mechanisms for bank cards and electronic transfers, food vouchers, and other ways that we can get money to refugees...[We are] relying on these remote platforms, whether it’s hotlines, individual calls, Instagram Live, Facebook. We’re shifting to providing either direct services, such as mental health counseling, gender-based violence counseling, legal services, and also providing basic information—how to keep yourself safe.”


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