COVID-19 Research: Somalia report

Publication language
Date published
05 Jul 2023
Research, reports and studies
Concern Worldwide

Concern has tracked changes in the lives and livelihoods of a number of their programme participants in Somalia between June and September 2020. Through the August and September rounds of data collection, it is apparent that COVID-19 is becoming less of a concern for people in Somalia, with a widespread belief that the pandemic is over. This has seen people shy away from following previously delivered messages on how to avoid being infected, while the cost of materials such as soap and masks is seen as being prohibitive to their use.

Those interviewed had a generally positive attitude towards how the restrictions have been implemented. However, the impact of the pandemic, including the global economic shock, in conjunction with underlying problems in the economy mean that livelihoods remain precarious. Until some restrictions were lifted in August, even the most basic employment opportunities had dried up. While income-generating opportunities have improved subsequently, and people are clearly more positive in terms of their outlook for the future, most households interviewed remain dependent on some form of external assistance and express an on-going worry that this assistance will end. A number have disposed of productive assets to survive over the previous months, which will have a continued negative impact on them going forward.

People lack access to the most basic needs such as adequate food, health care and education, though the re-opening of schools is seen in a positive light. Women have been disproportionately affected by changes in food availability, workload and domestic tensions, though in some isolated instances there are examples of men taking on more caring responsibilities. Respondents look for support in terms of cash transfers to help meet immediate needs and in the longer term to reconstruct their livelihoods.