COVID-19 in Eastern Africa: impact analysis on conflict and security

16th July 2020
Author: Kelbesa Megersa

This rapid review synthesises evidence on the immediate and medium/longer-term impacts of COVID19 on conflict and security (e.g. peace, mediation, conflict prevention, peacekeeping) across the Eastern Africa region. COVID-19 arrived in Eastern Africa in a time when countries in the region are busy facing a variety of challenges including longstanding conflicts, droughts, insecurity, and Internally displaced people (IDPs). Furthermore, most countries in the region are in some form of a fragile and conflict-prone state (e.g. Somalia and South Sudan) and/or amidst political transformation (e.g. Sudan and Ethiopia. The literature notes that governments’ credibility and the degree of trust that the people have in their leadership are key to battling COVID-19 effectively and dealing with its consequential losses. Due to the recent/ongoing nature of the pandemic, the literature on the topic (particularly non-health related) is very limited and there is far less academic evidence addressing its conflict/security implications for the region. Some of this evidence base (mainly non-academic literature) deals with the immediate security implications of COVID-19 since it is difficult to produce accurate longer-term impact assessments now

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Suggested Citation

Megersa, K. (2020). COVID-19 in Eastern Africa: impact analysis on conflict and security. K4D Helpdesk Report 847. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


16th July 2020


Continent: Africa

Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan