Displaced populations across the Middle East, already in cramped, unhygienic conditions, face a health catastrophe as infections rise
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic an abiding fear had stalked the world’s most vulnerable populations. Millions of people displaced by conflict in the Middle East watched with alarm as Europe and the west withered under a caseload that stretched first-world healthcare systems to their limits. They saw field hospitals being set up in capitals. Governments buckling under the strain. The developing world offering aid to the developed.
It seemed inevitable that the contagion would reach those less able to absorb its impact. And now, as second and third waves of Covid-19 surge around the globe, worst fears are being realised. Several months into the crisis, the virus has crept into the populations of refugees and internally displaced people, where stopping its advance will be close to impossible. Up to 15 million people across the region, many of whom were already at risk of disease, now face a rampant spread through their communities.