SIMN Virtually Participated at the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in Response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

New York, December 3, 2020 – The Scalabrini International Migration Network participated at the 31st Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. The event was held virtually at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on December 3rd and 4th.

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on COVID-19 provided the opportunity for the international community to assess and hone its collective response to this pandemic. World leaders, United Nations principals, and other relevant stakeholders were able to engage in dialogue on the impacts of the pandemic on people, societies and economies and discussed the multifaceted, coordinated response required to address this crisis. The two-day Special Session allowed many stakeholders to share their experiences in fighting the pandemic, reflect on the global response to date, and forge a united, coordinated, and people-centered path forward.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, all Scalabrinian Migrant Centers, Shelters, and Stella Maris Centers continue expanding and providing a dignified and comprehensive welcome, assistance, and protection in cities, rural areas, and cross-border areas. During these crises, Scalabrinian centers have been an oasis for immigrants, refugees, and their families that desperately fled their communities of origin, leaving their culture, homes, schools, work, and families behind.

To efficiently respond, all traditional formats have been adjusted to remote and online solutions to continue assisting people in need. Although some shelters had to reduce their regular capacity, the support outside shelters increased significantly in all countries and missions. To date, amid the pandemic, from March through November, more than 182,000 migrants, refugees, displaced people, seafarers, fishers, and their families have received direct services in all regions, including Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico & Central America, and North & South America.