The Coronavirus pandemic is unleashing tragic consequences on communities across the world affecting families, communities and societies forever. BAME communities have been disproportionately affected. For the 350,000 – 500,000 British-Somali community members, the impact of Covid-19 has already been devastating. The disease has claimed British-Somali NHS workers, TFL staff, gig economy workers, retail staff, musicians, and the elderly and vulnerable.
This policy briefing is written by the Anti-Tribalism Movement in collaboration with 27 Somali-led organisations, 12 Somali community leaders and academics, 3 Somali professional associations, 9 Somali businesses, 4 Somali media channels, and dozens of British-Somali individuals. It sets out the main challenges the community is facing in relation to housing, health, income, education and technology, culture, and community infrastructure. The briefing also features twenty-one recommendations for central and local government authorities, urging them to respond to the key vulnerabilities of British-Somalis with urgent policy measures.
As the community prepares itself for the rigours of the holy month of Ramadan, they are faced with many sources of anxiety: closed masjids, reduced income, and the impossible pressure of supporting vulnerable family members. These anxieties will become almost unbearably heightened, and urgent support and reassurance is called for to mitigate the stresses on the community.
“The emerging narrative of the Coronavirus pandemic is causing significant alarm and fear amongst the UK’s Somali community. This urgent briefing aims to urge and support policy-makers to consider the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on this already vulnerable and marginalised community.” Adam Matan OBE