Author: Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson (UNU-EHS)
Published by: Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Approximately one billion people around the world live in slums, including roughly 30-50% of the urban population in the global South. People on the move often settle down in urban informal settlements after facing environmental, financial and livelihood stress back in their rural homes. Meanwhile, people fleeing war, conflict and persecution may end up in refugee camps such as in Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh), Lesbos (Greece) or Calais (France). Refugees are unable to return home due to fear of persecution, while migrants move for a variety of reasons. Informal settlements and refugee camps share some commonalities making them more vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks; they tend to be overcrowded, lacking sufficient access to clean water, sanitation and public health services.
Op-ed available here.