ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

More than three-quarters of displaced and conflict-affected people have lost income since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a humanitarian group said in a new report on Monday.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s report – titled Downward Spiral: the economic impact of Covid-19 on refugees and displaced people – said a survey was conducted in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Uganda and Venezuela and additional research in Somalia, DR Congo, Lebanon, Jordan, Burkina Faso and Yemen.

“The devastating economic impact is tipping many into a hunger, homelessness and education crisis,” it said.

According to the findings from the 1,413 people surveyed, 77% of people had lost a job or income from work since March, 70% of people had to cut the number of meals for their household since the pandemic broke out, and 73% reported that they were less likely to send their children to school due to economic hardship.

“The world’s most vulnerable communities are in a dangerous downward spiral. Already forced from their homes by violence, often with limited rights to work or access to government services, the economic impact of the pandemic is pushing them to catastrophe,” said Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the council.

Compounding numerous existing crises and challenges, COVID-19 related travel restrictions, closure of markets and businesses, and the general economic downturn have caused conflict- and displacement-affected populations to lose work and income, the council said.

“The recent loss of income, limited access to social safety nets, a drop in remittances and increased debt, have created severe negative knock-on effects for those affected,” it added.

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