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Impact of COVID 19 on migrants, refugees and IDPs who use drugs

On 11 December 2020, members of the Pompidou Group’s Support Network of Professionals (SNP) working in the drug field with migrants, refugees and IDPs, published a statement where they have analysed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of these social groups. They have observed that these vulnerable groups have suffered disproportionately in comparison with the general population under the present circumstances. The SNP highlights the need for adequate responses protecting the physical and mental health of these most vulnerable groups. Asylum seekers, migrants, refugees and IDPs are among the highest risk populations for developing addiction problems: post migration trauma, experience of violence and conflict, unstable and inappropriate long-term living conditions, unemployment and social exclusion. These factors have been aggravated be the pandemic as such , as well as by related measures and restrictions. The SNP identifies 5 areas of concern: (1) social stigmatisation and exclusion, (2) housing and accommodation, (3) access to treatment and care, (4) access to asylum and migration services, and (5) employment. Read the full statement here.