The impact of covid-19 and movement restrictions on vulnerable groups in Ethiopia

Sumarising findings from Exploratory Qualitative Interviews with Civil Society Organisations on the impact of covid-19 on vulnerable groups in Ethiopia


This report was co-written by Zoma Mesfin, a local consultant on the Building Resilience in Ethiopia (BRE) Programme.


This exploratory study was conducted with 15 participants, including 10 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and 5 Managers (in the Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern, and Central regions of Ethiopia) who are apart of DIFID’s Civil Society Protection Programme Phase 2 (CSPP2). The CSOs are small, national CSO’s with thematic areas including, youth voice, disability and inclusion, mental ill health, substance abuse, and disadvantaged communities’ rights and livelihoods.

The aim of this study is to explore the extent to which COVID-19 and associated government responses and measures such as physical distancing, movement restrictions and lockdowns, affect the ability of urban poor and vulnerable individuals to access health services, education, and whether they are able to meet their food and nutrition security needs.

This preliminary study is part of a larger panel study which will examine, in more depth, the impact of COVID-19 and government measures such as movement restrictions, physical distancing and others, on poor households and vulnerable groups (including refugees and IDPs) in urban areas of ten cities in Ethiopia. The panel study aims to conduct monthly qualitative phone interviews with 300 households, 40 CSOs/NGOs, and 50 health facilities and 150 health workers across the ten cities (Addis Ababa, Mekelle, Dire Dawa, Adama, Gambella, Bahir Dar, Jijiga, Bulehora, Logia and Semera). The study is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) under the Maintaining Essential Services After Natural Disasters operational research (Maintains) programme.

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