Lebanon. Resettlement of refugees suspended over COVID-19 restrictions

Three-year-old Syrian refugee Yasmine Al Sham plays with her sisters at their home in Barja, Lebanon. ; Wafaa Ahmad Hachem, 32, her husband Mouhamad Al Dali Al Masri, 37, their son Bakr, 13, and daughters, Layan, 10, Ghofran, 8, and Yasmine Al Sham, 3, come from the village of Gdaidet al Turkman in east Ghouta, just outside the Syrian capital Damascus. They fled to Lebanon in 2014, and are awaiting resettlement to Norway. The COVID-19 pandemic has suspended international resettlement for refugees worldwide, dividing some families and stranding them thousands of miles apart. UNHCR is concerned that international travel could increase the exposure of refugees to the virus. As resettlement remains a life-saving tool for many refugees, UNHCR is appealing to States to ensure that movements can continue for the most critical emergency cases wherever possible.

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