Street art for all during COVID-19: a call to stand together, and to stand with migrants
Amidst the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Ghana, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), and the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana have joined forces with artists from the Ghana Graffiti collective, in an effort to use street art to sensitize people about COVID-19 prevention, safe migration and solidarity.
As the numbers of COVID-19 cases are rising in Ghana – we are counting 7,303 cases, 2,412 recoveries and 34 deaths – the Government, supported by the entire UN system, has put measures in place to curb the spread of the virus, that was first detected in the country on 12 March 2020. However, for many, including internal and international migrants living in crowded slums, access to clean running water or the possibility to maintain social distance, remain a luxury. IOM is therefore focusing its efforts to ensure that migrants and migration issues are fully included in the COVID-19 response.
The crisis is likely to negatively impact livelihoods and wellbeing of migrants and returnees, but also of people in vulnerable employment in the informal sector, as well as of households relying on remittances from abroad. In these circumstances, many, especially young people, may turn to migration in an attempt to cope. This may fuel irregular migration but also migrant exploitation and abuse including smuggling and human trafficking.
“The pandemic is going to exacerbate existing migration dynamics. Some people are going to lose their jobs and many may decide to move from rural areas to urban centers like Accra or from Ghana to the subregion or beyond, looking for greener pastures. So even in the midst of the immediate COVID-19 response, we need more than ever to actively continue our safe migration campaigns and to advocate for the response to leave no one behind including migrants,” said Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.
To bring COVID-19 prevention and safe migration messages to the people, IOM is supporting a series of awareness raising activities throughout the country. For Accra, the capital city that sees the bulk of coronavirus infections in Ghana, street art was chosen, as it transcends cultures and creates bridges between people. Read more.