The think tank PROVIDUS organised the first coalition meeting of 2020 held online on the Zoom platform.
NIEM Coalition meetings are held three times a year and the invited parties included the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Interior, UNHCR as well as several NGOs. The topic of the meeting was the impact COVID-19 has had on the situation of beneficiaries of international protection since the government announced an emergency situation on March 12th. In total the meeting was attended by 23 participants.
The agenda included issues related to healthcare, education, employment, financial support as well as the general situation in the Asylum Seekers’ Centre.
You can read more about the meeting here: herepdf
Recommendations for further actions:
– The Ministry of Interior should prepare an action plan regarding a potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the Asylum Seekers’ Centre. As can be seen from the experience of other countries , refugee camps and shelters are among the critical sites, much like care homes and dormitories.
– The Ministry of Welfare should assess the possibility of extending the duration of monthly benefits to those beneficiaries of international protection who receive the benefit during the emergency situation as the socio-economic integration process is currently fraught with challenges.
– The Ministry of Education and Science should ensure the availability of Latvian language assistants for distant learning to ensure the inclusion of children of beneficiaries of international protection in the education process.
– Latvian Red Cross and “Shelter “Safe House ”” should periodically update information about the forms of available support for beneficiaries of international protection on www.beglis.lv and www.integration.lv as well as on the respective social media platforms.
– Municipalities should review the requirement for declared residence as prerequisite for available financial support among beneficiaries of international protection.