Rapid Assessment Round 3: COVID-19 Related Vulnerabilities and Perceptions of Non-Thai Populations in Thailand

Year of Publication: 

From 2 to 12 October 2020, IOM conducted a third round of its rapid assessment on COVID-19 related vulnerabilities of non-Thai populations in Thailand, surveying a total of 75 key informants (KIs).

Key findings include the following:

  • Primary barriers to maintaining COVID-19 specific hygiene and sanitation remain the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) and lack of knowledge on hygiene and sanitation. However, findings suggest a significant increase in access to PPE for non-Thai populations with only 15 per cent of KIs reporting that the majority of non-Thai nationals in their target communities do not have daily access to face masks.
  • Primary challenges for non-Thai populations since the outbreak of COVID-19 continue to be insufficient income, unemployment and wage reductions. The impact of COVID-19 on food consumption remains of concern, with 25 per cent of KIs still reporting that over the past month they have heard of beneficiaries going without eating for a whole day due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • However, the percentage of KIs reporting that they have heard of beneficiaries expressing concerns about food security dropped from 80 per cent in round two of data collection to 69 per cent in this round.
  • The primary challenge faced by non-Thai children remains access to education. However, in this round of data collection only 5 per cent of KIs flagged insufficient food intake as a primary concern for children compared to 19 per cent in the previous round of data collection.
  • Two thirds of the respondents indicated that the majority of non-Thai nationals in their target communities have experienced a reduction in their daily income due to COVID-19. Fifty-five per cent of KIs reported that most non-Thai nationals are able to work but receive reduced salaries/payments and 32 per cent of KIs reported that most non-Thai nationals have lost their jobs and face financial problems.
  • Overall, 96 per cent of KIs reported that non-Thai populations had at least some level of awareness about COVID-19. Compared to previous rounds of data collection, KIs also reported non-Thai nationals as increasingly accessing information on COVID-19 from a diversity of sources. Ninety-nine per cent of KIs indicated that IEC materials are being distributed in their target communities.
  • Nonetheless, over a third of KIs still flagged that COVID-19 information was not being understood or was only being partially understood by non-Thai populations, principally because of literacy and language issues.
  • Forty-five per cent of KIs also reported that non-Thai populations still have misperceptions about COVID-19, particularly around the use of herbal remedies.