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MPs to examine how UK aid is mitigating secondary impacts of coronavirus in developing countries

7 October 2020

For the last six months, the International Development Committee has been examining the UK’s response to the impact of coronavirus on developing countries, with a report expected around the end of October.

During the initial inquiry, the Committee repeatedly heard how some of the secondary impacts could be more severe for many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable than the pandemic itself.


Countries with on-going humanitarian crises, or other dependencies on development aid, have faced different challenges than higher income countries in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

During the first phase of the inquiry into the pandemic’s impact on the Global South, the Committee looked at the risks and threats faced by countries going into the pandemic. The Committee received evidence on a range of potential secondary impacts – largely expected to arise from the measures and restrictions perceived as necessary to combat the spread of infection.

The IDC has agreed a follow-on coronavirus inquiry aimed at assessing three of these secondary impacts. The inquiry will consider the effectiveness of measures and interventions aimed at tackling them.

Chair's comments

International Development Committee Chair, Sarah Champion MP, said:

“Six months ago, we started our work assessing the impact of coronavirus on the developing world.

“Inquiry witnesses kept telling us that the big challenges were yet to come. Coronavirus has had deadly consequences, but the pandemic itself was not the main concern for many – it was the secondary impacts they feared most. Economies have halted, education suspended, weak healthcare systems decimated. The secondary impacts are likely to have enormous long-term repercussions. We have already heard reports of increased incidents of gender-based violence, child marriage, youth radicalisation and the suspension of routine, life-saving immunisation programmes.

“IDC will now be focussing our efforts on what the secondary impacts are from coronavirus, and what role UK aid has been playing so far in addressing them.”

Scope of the Inquiry

We are grateful for the evidence received earlier this year as part of our first inquiry into the pandemic. That evidence will also be considered in this ‘Part II’ inquiry. In this call for evidence, we are asking for new and/or updated information on secondary impacts of the coronavirus and on new, or adapted, ODA-funded initiatives aimed at mitigating the secondary impacts identified below. We therefore ask that, in responding to these terms of reference, please reference any earlier submission and aim to keep submissions to 1500 words or fewer. We particularly look forward to submissions addressing the topics set out below.

  1. Non-coronavirus health care; the communities trust and engagement in healthcare provision (especially in relation to other infectious diseases and immunisation)
  2. Economy and food security; economic performance, development and level of ODA (implications for livelihoods and food security and nutrition)
  3. Treatment of women and children; levels domestic abuse, gender-based violence and exploitation of women and children, including child marriage

Submissions, information and signposting of available material and data, relating to the ODA-funded interventions in these areas are invited by Friday 30 October.

Oral evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

Further information

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