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UNHCR MENA COVID-19 Emergency Response Update #23 (1 - 30 September 2021)

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Key Figures

17.4 million people of concern in the Middle East and North Africa (2021 planning figures)

17,602 cases of COVID-19 were reported among people of concern (POCs) to UNHCR since March 2020, including fatalities

19 out of 19 countries in the MENA region have confirmed the inclusion of refugees in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes or plans

19 out of 19 countries in the MENA region have started COVID-19 vaccinations for refugees

Regional Developments

During September, most countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continued to observe a downward trend in reported cases of COVID-19, though relatively high infection rates were reported in Egypt, the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) and Yemen. Several countries who reported a stabilization in cases—including Israel, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and UAE—began lifting national movement restrictions and curfews, with limitations on physical presence decreasing in schools and public areas.
Access to vaccination continued to increase, with people of concern in various age groups receiving vaccine doses across the region. Despite this, some PoCs reported difficulties in accessing COVID-19 vaccination centres or obtaining official proof-of-vaccination certificates and health passes to access public services and areas.
UNHCR operations in the MENA region continue to work with authorities to remove barriers preventing access to vaccination and health services among refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs and host communities, while reinforcing the capacities and response of national health authorities.