Covid-19 in developing countries: secondary impacts Contents


1.In April 2020, we launched an inquiry into the initial impact of covid-19 on developing countries in which we assessed the resilience of healthcare services against the disease, the implications for marginalised and vulnerable groups, and the effects of the pandemic on the work of the DFID as well as on the wider development sector. Our interim findings, published on 13 November 2020, called for the development of an effective, prioritised, and costed global health strategy by the UK Government: one that would include an explicit set of goals and metrics for assessing progress.1 We received the Government’s response to our interim report on 14 January 2021 and are publishing it alongside this report.2

2.In this follow-on report, we consider how effective UK development policy, administered through the newly formed Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), has been at mitigating the longer-term, indirect, socio-economic impacts (“secondary impacts”) of covid-19. With the pandemic permeating into every element of our lives, these secondary impacts will be felt across a broad and disparate range of policy areas.

3.This report considers four specific policy areas on which targeted UK ODA funding, strengthened by diplomatic support, can lead to tangible benefits for the people in developing countries affected by the impact of covid-19. They are: non-covid related healthcare, economy and livelihoods, food security and women and girls.3 To inform this report, we took evidence from a range of stakeholders in the UK and internationally.4 We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this inquiry and helped to shape our findings.

1 International Development Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2019–21, Humanitarian crises monitoring: impact of coronavirus (interim findings), HC 292, paragraph 103

3 We received evidence on a broad range of other secondary impacts, including discrimination against religious minorities, loss of trust in authorities, risk of human rights abuses, breakdown of community cohesion and increasing extremism and radicalism. We encourage readers to visit our website to read evidence submissions on these topics.

Published: 26 January 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement