Recording Now Available- Inclusive COVID-19 Responses of Cities

Missed the 30 July UNHCR and Mayors Migration Council Webinar? Access the recording now. 

On 30 July, PHAP hosted a webinar organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) on a conversation on how cities in the Americas are implementing inclusive COVID-19 responses. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all vulnerable, but those marginalized, including refugees and others forcibly displaced, are more severely impacted. Refugees, stateless persons, and internally displaced persons often live in overcrowded settings without adequate means to protect themselves. The session explored how cities in the Americas are stepping up to protect their most vulnerable residents. Initiatives vary from providing free access to health care and direct cash assistance, to placing moratoriums on evictions and rent hikes, and ensuring that all public outreach materials on prevention of COVID-19 are multilingual.

With Ms. Gillian Triggs, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, and Ms. Vittoria Zanuso, Executive Director Mayors Migration Council (MMC) co-hosting the event, the event started out with an overview of how cities have taken on this challenge and UNHCR’s work with cities.

Participants also got the opportunity to hear from representatives of cities in the Americas. Gabriela Quiroga, Secretary for Social Inclusion of the Municipality of Quito, Ecuador, started out by briefing participants on the emergency response mechanisms the city has put in places when it comes to COVID-19 response and refugees. This includes providing free kits, shelter, access to healthcare, and food packages. Sharmarke Dubow, City Councillor of Victoria, Canada, commended his city’s citizens’ role in maintaining a connected community network to support refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasised the strengthening of the city’s resilience through already established programs, such as free transit on local public transport and urban community gardens to sustain refugees.

Participants then heard from Juliana Felicidade Armede, Deputy Secretary for Human Rights & Citizenship in São Paulo, Brazil who spoke of the roll-out of the city’s new municipal plan for migrant policies for social cohesion through coordination amongst public authority, local communities, and refugees. 

If you missed the event, you can now access a video recording of the session on the event page. For increased accessibility, the YouTube version has translated captions in English for the sections in Spanish and Portuguese. The recording also includes International sign language interpretation that is available throughout the recording. 

Access recording