Wednesday, April 24, 2024

UN Agencies host final migration mobile clinic for 2021 in San Pedro Town


On the 27th and 28th of November, the United National Population Fund, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), and International Organization for Migration held their last migration mobile clinic for 2021. The final outreach for asylum seekers and migrant communities took place in San Pedro Town. Participants had the opportunity to access a comprehensive menu of critical health, legal and social services.

The mobile services were stationed at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School. According to Taheerah Usher from UNICEF, due to COVID-19, they came a week earlier to San Pedro to meet with the migrant families living on the island. Over 200 persons had an appointment to come and visit the mobile clinic at times to avoid any potential mass gathering. Usher said that there were walk-ins who also benefitted from the different services.

The different services available included sexual and reproductive health, early childhood development, legal services, psychosocial support through the Ministry of Human Development, and new and late birth registration services.  There was also a general practitioner was onsite providing basic health care.

Usher said the mobile center met the target of people they were expecting to see on the island. They look forward to making the mobile centers available again next year. “We are trying to reach people who are the most vulnerable and are hard to reach,” said Usher. In 2022, the agencies hope to expand the type of services they have to offer. These mobile clinics will allow them to coordinate humanitarian assistance and support to migrants across the country.

The organizations noted Belize is currently home to an estimated 51,000 migrant persons, and in 2010, 14.8% of the total population of Belize accounted for the foreign-born population. In addition, Belize hosts 2,394 registered and an estimated 3,400 more unregistered asylum seekers and refugees that have come to the country seeking haven and protection, mostly from nearby El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. According to the UNHCR, this joint effort supports the fight against statelessness, give access to fundamental human rights and help pave a more specific road towards greater inclusion.

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