The Safe4ALL project

“Building capacities of communities to reach Migrants and Refugees for stopping the spread of COVID-19” – IZRIIS Institute, community action supported by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. An initiative of the COVID-19 Solidarity Found.

The IZRIIS Institute is a non-governmental organization working in the field of public health and e-health.

This project focuses on the needs of refugee and migrant communities living in Slovenia as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new constraints to their daily lives. At the end of November 2020, almost 200,000 foreigners lived in Slovenia (29,397 EU citizens and 170,342 third-country nationals). As a signatory to the Geneva Convention and a member of the EU, Slovenia offers international protection to persons who qualify under international law. In 2020, 3.276 applications for international protection were filed Refugees and asylum seekers are hosted in group housing in reception centres, where it is challenging to apply physical distance and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Isolation, loneliness, and uncertainty regarding the outcome of asylum procedures are pre-existing distress factors that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, psycho-social assistance provided in these centres has been disrupted due to the pandemic.

The Safe4ALL project – “Building capacities of communities to reach Refugees and Migrants for stopping the spread of COVID19” provides a model for community empowerment through capacity building. The project aims to mobilize refugee and migrant communities, civil society service providers, local governments and youth. Local governments leaders will also be encouraged to make use of participatory methods. The module can be adapted for future emergency responses to consider refugees’ and migrants’ needs.