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COVID-19 and Livestock Market Systems: The Impact of COVID-19 on Livestock-Based Economies in the Horn of Africa

Mercy Corps
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Evaluations and Research

Global attention has been given to COVID-19 as a public health crisis. Discussion of the economic impacts is largely focused on the loss of jobs or incomes due to the global shutdown of nonessential businesses, but less attention has been given to the impact of travel restrictions and market closures on subsistence-level farmers, including livestock producers, and their ability to meet their household needs while protecting their livelihoods.

Mercy Corps monitored livestock systems in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan to understand the interplay of diverse market forces as influenced by COVID-19 mitigation measures, as well as seasonality, locusts, and Rift Valley Fever (RVF). This study focused on live animal, meat, and milk value chains originating in the arid and semiarid lands (ASAL) regions and extending on to major domestic and export consumer markets. Information was collected through existing programs and augmented with key informant interviews. This report, developed from that research, aims to fill knowledge gaps and offer recommendations to support coping and recovery.