Dr Hans Kluge, Europe Director, World Health Organisation
Across the UK and Europe, millions of families have been asked to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But what do you do if you have no safe place to stay?
For vulnerable groups, including asylum seekers, refugees and victims of domestic violence, sheltering at home is often not an option. In Kosovo, our team recognised the urgent need to protect these communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly mobilised in support.
Supporting Safe House
Kosovo’s police force has seen a 36 per cent increase in domestic violence reports since quarantine measures were introduced in March, putting pressure on already stretched resources. HALO has therefore partnered with Safe House — a national charity that provides shelter for victims of domestic violence. Thanks to support from our donors, we have been able to purchase bedding and clothes for women and children who would otherwise be trapped in violent relationships during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Protecting Asylum Seekers with UNHCR
The closing of international borders during the pandemic has also caused an increase in asylum seekers. By April, the capacity in Kosovo’s shelters was rapidly filling up with families seeking refuge. Working in partnership with UNHCR and the government, HALO has supplied vital hygiene kits and bedding so asylum seekers have a safe place to stay.
By working together with our donors and partners, we can ensure no one is left behind in the fight against COVID-19.