Energy & Infrastructure


15 December 2020
Covid Health Kenya

A health worker attends to 23-year-old Ishimagizwe Eliana from Burundi after she successfuly delivered a bouncing baby girl in Kalobeyei settlment, Kenya.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unexpected strain on health systems globally. While Governments have had to adopt new public health strategies to contain the virus, the outbreak of COVID-19 has reinforced the need for equitable access to health services and clean water and sanitation facilities. Throughout 2020, UNHCR has worked closely with health ministries to support the inclusion of refugees into national services.    

Read more about inclusive health policies developed this year.   

  • Costa Rica has committed to provide health insurance to 6,000 refugees and asylum seekers. According to the Costa Rican authorities, this commitment is 90% fulfilled.  
  • In Uganda, as part of the pledge to improve equitable access to over 1 million refugees and 7 million members of the host community, the Government continues to take over managing health facilities in refugee hosting areas and is now covering 72% of the facilities. An additional 19 facilities are planned to be transitioned from NGO to Government management.  
  • In Mauritania, since August the Government, with support from the World Bank IDA 18 refugee sub-window, has included health facilities and refugees in Mbera camp within the national health system. In Djibouti, refugees are fully included in the national health system and have access to health services on par with nationals. Refugees are explicitly included in the national health development strategies and plans for 2020-2024. 
  • The Government of Malawi is undertaking expansion works of the Dzaleka Health Centre which serves refugees and the host community. The construction has commenced but there have been delays due to COVID-19.  
  • In Namibia, the Government has been primarily focused on COVID-19 preparedness and response. Refugees continue to have unhindered access to health services at all levels and are included in national COVID-19 response plan. 
  • In Cameroon, the Ministry of Health is planning to extend access to health care for refugees in urban areas similar to the agreement already in place with UNHCR for access to healthcare for refugees in camps. The agreement is pending final approval from the President’s office.    
  • Azerbaijan has implemented its pledge to provide refugees with access to its national healthcare system by issuing a new legislative order. With the implementation of this pledge, more than 2,000 refugees will be included in the health insurance for primary and secondary healthcare services. 

We continue to invite pledging entities to submit updates on pledge implementation. Please visit this page to submit a new update.


The following updates are not comprehensive but offer a snapshot of progress on pledge implementation. For further information, visit the Pledges and Contributions dashboard.

One year on from the Global Refugee Forum