Canadian Jesuits International supports The Jesuit Migration Network (RJM-CANA in Spanish) which provide humanitarian relief and accompaniment to migrants who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. RJM CANA provides for the basic needs of migrants such as food, medication, shelter and refuge as well as psychological and spiritual support and legal advice. They also help in the search for missing migrants. Its risk reduction approach is complemented with advocacy for migrants’ rights.
Even before the onset of COVID-19, the migrants in the region lacked access to basic human rights and faced discrimination. This was exacerbated by the tightening immigration policies of the United States and Mexico and the increasingly complex cross-border refugee application procedures in Mexico and in Central America. When the pandemic hit, a difficult situation was made even worse and more unpredictable.
COVID-19 has resulted in the loss of work for migrants who had initially found employment; other consequences include loss of contact or financial support from family, and further restrictions to access to any medical care. The need for humanitarian assistance has increased but restricted mobility has hampered relief efforts. The panic caused by the pandemic has also sparked stigmatization and attacks on migrants who have returned to their countries of origin.
RJM CANA knows that responding to the new reality of the migrants requires flexibility. Their priority now is to identify the needs of the most vulnerable migrants and respond accordingly. One of the ways they have been able to continue to give support is through online technology (email and WhatsApp messaging). The team hopes to provide psychological, legal and spiritual support to over 5,500 people this year.
Personnel and volunteers who are able to reach the migrants follow proper sanitary and healthcare measures to ensure that all are safe. By ensuring proper observance of these measures, they expect to provide 45,000 meals this year and host over 10,000 migrants, offering them both food and medicine.
The needs of the migrants will continue beyond the pandemic. Please join Canadian Jesuits International in supporting these efforts to assist vulnerable women, men and children.
Coordinator: Fr. Rafael Moreno SJ
Jesuit Network with Migrants Central America and North America
Please support the work of RJM CANA by making a donation: