Tag Archives: Migrants

African migrants in Morocco wait for aid as coronavirus bites

African migrants in Morocco wait for aid as coronavirus bites

5/5 © Reuters. African migrants stand at Hay el Farah area on the outskirts of Rabat 2/5

By Ahmed Eljechtimi

RABAT (Reuters) – Thousands of African migrants without revenue during Morocco’s coronavirus lockdown could run out of money for food and essentials, and rights groups have urged the government to offer them the same cash help it has promised to citizens.

The North African country has imposed a month-long lockdown restricting movement to purchases of food or medicine and to staffing some key jobs, with 761 cases of the coronavirus confirmed, including 47 deaths.

Saddou Habi, 30, who came to Morocco two years ago from Guinea, and decided to stay rather than trying to reach Europe after getting a job in a restaurant, said his money will run out in 10 days.

“I have been helping my four other flat mates whose financial situation is worse than mine,” he said.

“We are respecting all measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus but we need urgent help to go through these difficult times,” he said.

The government has promised monthly support of about $120 a month to households where the main provider has lost work in the informal economy because of the lockdown.

At present, that aid will go to people with a “free health service” card available only to Moroccans. The government plans to roll it out to people who do not have the card, but has not said if this would be extended to migrants.

The state will also pay about $200 a month to workers in private companies who are registered with the state social insurance scheme.

It leaves most of the 50,000 migrants who have obtained official residency permits since 2013 without help. The far larger number of undocumented migrants, many of them homeless or seeking to pass through Morocco to reach Europe, face even less chance of assistance.

The National Human Rights Council and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights have urged the government to help. The finance ministry did not respond when asked if migrants would become eligible for state aid.

‘WE HAVE TO SHOW SOLIDARITY’

Habi has applied for a residency permit, but is still waiting for it to be issued. He lives in the poor Hay Nahda district of Rabat, where houses made of bare concrete blocks press up against each other.

Local rights groups and charities have distributed food in poor districts to both Moroccans and migrants, but the lockdown has made it harder to distribute such supplies.

Living conditions are worst for homeless sub-Saharans in northern Morocco, near the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which migrants often try to reach across a thicket of high wire fences.

The majority of migrants work in the informal sector earning barely enough money to meet their basic needs for a day, said Ousmane Ba, a Senegalese migrant who heads a community group.

The government needs to do more to shelter homeless migrants living in the forests in northern Morocco and help them avoid contagion, he added, speaking by phone from the city of Nador, near Melilla.

So far, the government has put more than 3,000 homeless people, including migrants, into shelters located in schools, stadiums and other buildings for the duration of the lockdown.

“We are all in the same boat in the face of the coronavirus storm. We have to show solidarity with one another for all to be rescued,” Ba said.


Source : Reuters Link

U.S. again postpones immigration hearings for migrants in Mexico due to coronavirus

U.S. again postpones immigration hearings for migrants in Mexico due to coronavirus WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Wednesday that due to the coronavirus outbreak it had postponed court hearings for non-Mexican migrants waiting in Mexico. The departments … read more

Outrage in India as migrants sprayed with disinfectant to fight coronavirus

Outrage in India as migrants sprayed with disinfectant to fight coronavirus © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Migrant workers walk along a highway with their families as they return to their villages, during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of … read more

Migrants in Central American limbo as coronavirus relocation plans falter

Migrants in Central American limbo as coronavirus relocation plans falter By Alvaro Murillo SAN JOSE (Reuters) – Thousands of African, Haitian and Asian migrants bound for the United States have amassed in immigration shelters in Panama and Costa Rica as … read more

Migrants arriving in Greece say they have no protection against coronavirus

Migrants arriving in Greece say they are being given no protection from coronavirus as UNHCR describes conditions in some camps as inhumane… READ MORE : https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/28/migrants-arriving-in-greece-say-they-have-no-protection-against-coronavirus What are the top stories today? Click to watch: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSyY1udCyYqBeDOz400FlseNGNqReKkFd euronews: the most watched … read more

Trump administration urged to free migrants as COVID-19 pandemic worsens

Trump administration urged to free migrants as COVID-19 pandemic worsens Pressure is mounting for the administration to release people from facilities where at least one detainee has already tested positive Ben Fox, Philip Marcelo and Nomaan MerchantAssociated Press WASHINGTON — … read more

CBP: With Trump’s policies, more migrants being removed than apprehended

CBP: With Trump’s policies, more migrants being removed than apprehended Officials with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are crediting President Trump’s agenda for giving an unprecedented boost to law enforcement, saying it has dramatically reduced the number of migrants released within the United States and bolstered the … read more