Over the course of the year, billions of lives and livelihoods across the globe were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – and those forced to flee were hit the hardest. Refugees living in low- and middle-income countries with weak health, water and sanitation systems were particularly vulnerable to the disease, and confinement measures threatened their most basic survival. Travel restrictions and border closures made it harder for those fleeing war, violence and persecution to make their way to safety.
But the pandemic also exposed incredible resilience, compassion and solidarity. In the United States and across the world, we were humbled and inspired by our compassionate donors and supporters who came together to help the world’s most vulnerable people in their hour of greatest need.
In May 2020, USA for UNHCR challenged supporters to stand together for one day of global unity and solidarity – #GivingTuesdayNow – to support millions of refugees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the support of UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller, we raised more than $200,000 for COVID-19 emergency aid in just one day.
- Latter-Day Saints Charities funds helped provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and basic sanitation items to refugees in Greece, Colombia and Uganda.
- With funding from the UPS Foundation, USA for UNHCR was able to deliver cash assistance, core relief items and healthcare to refugees in the midst of the pandemic. Additionally, UPS Foundation’s in-kind airlifts delivered two flights filled with PPE such as gloves and gowns for UNHCR’s response and an additional airlift of winter clothing to vulnerable populations in Armenia.
- Lighter than Air foundation also supported USA for UNHCR through the donation of 1 million face shields that were distributed to refugees across the world.