DP17104 Facing Displacement and a Global Pandemic: Evidence from a Fragile State

Author(s): Michele Di Maio, Francesco Fasani, Valerio Leone Sciabolazza, Vasco Molini
Publication Date: March 2022
Date Revised: April 2022
Keyword(s): conflict, COVID-19, Forced Migration, Health, Internally Displaced Persons, Libyan Civil War
JEL(s): F22, J61, K37
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Political Economy
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=17104

We use novel survey data to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Libya. Our analysis compares the effects of the pandemic for displaced and non-displaced citizens, controlling for individual and household characteristics and geo-localized measures of economic activity and conflict intensity. In our sample, 9.5% of respondents report that a household member has been infected by COVID-19, while 24.7% of them have suffered economic damages and 14.6% have experienced negative health effects due to the pandemic. IDPs do not display higher incidence of COVID-19 relative to comparable non-displaced individuals, but are about 60% more likely to report negative economic and health impacts caused by the pandemic. We provide suggestive evidence that the larger damages suffered by IDPs can be explained by their weaker economic status - which leads to more food insecurity and indebtedness - and by the discrimination they face in accessing health care.