COVID-19 Response and Recovery: IOM Thailand Appeals for USD 6.9 Million to Reinforce Support to Vulnerable Migrants

Over two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant and mobile populations continue to be disproportionately impacted by its social and economic impacts. Challenges include inadequate access to healthcare services and information, cramped and crowded living and working conditions, and stigma and discrimination.

As borders reopen more widely in 2022, but with the number of COVID-19 cases once again on the rise, the need to reinforce assistance toward migrants is critical.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for USD 6,920,879 to strengthen its support to the Royal Thai Government’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, with a focus on ensuring the meaningful inclusion of migrants.

A critical component of the appeal is the need to scale up vaccination coverage among migrant and mobile communities. As of 25 June, the non-Thai population in the country is vaccinated with the first dose at a rate of 52 per cent, compared to 82 per cent for the total population.

Other activities covered under the appeal include improving living conditions and healthcare services for migrants in shelters and immigration detention centers; strengthening capacities and infrastructure at border points; conducting campaigns to combat xenophobia and promote social inclusion; ensuring access to decent work and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers; and analyzing data to better understand the needs of migrant populations.

The current appeal builds on a previous appeal of USD 4 million, which was 74 per cent funded. With the generous support of donors, IOM was able to reach over 100,000 individuals through case finding, testing, relief packages, health education and awareness raising – while over 13,000 migrants were provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Moreover, IOM was able to support evidence-based decision-making through research in various areas, including the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on migrants, vaccine perceptions and uptake among migrant communities, and solutions for the ethical recruitment of migrant workers.