As the world grapples with the dangerous and evolving coronavirus pandemic, the impact on the most vulnerable populations—the homeless, prison populations, and the impoverished—cannot be overestimated. In the Middle East, a region already ravaged by conflict and suffering from inadequate services and poor governance, the novel coronavirus could have untold consequences. Refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in the region are among the most at risk. Mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus, technically known as COVID-19, on this population will be critical to stanching the spread of the pandemic.
Syrian refugees in a building under construction they have been using as a shelter in the city of Sidon in southern Lebanon, on March 17, 2020. (AP)
A Syrian boy jumps over a ditch at an informal refugee camp, in the Bekaa valley town of Saadnayel, east Lebanon on April 23, 2019. (AP)