Seeking Shelter: Refugees and the Coronavirus

April 16, 2020

Refugee camps around the world are especially vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus, with aid agencies warning of impending humanitarian catastrophe. This episode of #DearWorldLive examines this vulnerability and asks what steps organizations and individuals can take to save lives and reduce the impact of the current pandemic on the world’s refugee population.

This week will feature, Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Dr. Jamilah Sherally, a doctor working with the Boat Refugee Foundation

#DearWorldLive is a new online discussion show from Doha Debates, hosted by Doha Debates’ correspondent and Course Correction host Nelufar Hedayat. Each weekly episode focuses on a different aspect of the coronavirus and its impact on our lives and our world.

How to Participate:

Doha Debates always strives to engage young global voices, your voice!

Watch this Tuesday at 8am Eastern / 3pm Doha on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Livestream viewers will have the opportunity to participate and be featured in the show by submitting comments and questions.

Find the show time in your timezone here.

Want to be a student guest on a future show? Email us at to be added to the list. 

Our Participants

Filippo Grandi

Filippo Grandi is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

He leads the international response to refugee crises around the world, working with governments to make sure refugees have access to protection and support.

Previously, he was Commissioner-General of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. He has focused on refugee and humanitarian work throughout his career.  He has worked with NGOs and the UNHCR in many locations around the world.

At the start of his career at the UNHCR in 1988, he served in Sudan, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq after the first Gulf War. He was field coordinator for UNHCR and UN humanitarian activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the civil war.

Jamilah Sherally

Jamilah Sherally is a doctor working with the Boat Refugee Foundation, a Dutch nonprofit that provides medical care to refugees on Greek islands. Right now, she’s working to help more than 20,000 people in Europe’s biggest refugee camp, Moria, on the island of Lesvos. She’s part of #SOSMoria, which seeks to bring refugees on Greek islands to safety. Dr. Sherally has previously worked for Médecins Sans Frontières and Critical Care International.


Nelufar Hedayat

Award–winning journalist and documentary maker