Assessing and Mitigating the Food Insecurity Consequences of COVID‑19 Public Health Measures on Marginalized Refugees and Migrants in Canada, Latin America and Africa

Crush, Jonathan | $499,967

Ontario Wilfrid Laurier University 2022 CIHR Operating Grant

Strategies to mitigate the public health impacts of COVID‑19 have led to a secondary pandemic of global food insecurity. Our project will ‘scale up’ our First Round CIHR Grant on the negative impacts of COVID‑19 on household food security in Wuhan and Nanjing, China to three additional cities: Quito (Ecuador), Cape Town (South Africa) and Kitchener-Waterloo (K-W) (Canada). The project will have a particular focus on the food insecurity experience of marginalized immigrant and refugee populations during the pandemic and how to build greater resilience post-pandemic. We will undertake a comparative study of the food security and related health impacts of COVID‑19 on immigrants and refugees who have settled in these three cities and who come from countries experiencing political and economic crises or natural disasters: in Quito, migrants from Venezuela and Haiti; in Cape Town, migrants from the DRC, Somalia and Zimbabwe; and in K-W, refugees from Afghanistan and Syria. In all three study sites, we have research partners and infrastructure in place as well as ongoing projects on gender violence against migrants (Quito), refugee livelihoods (Cape Town) and the social determinants of refugee health (K-W). The project will be implemented collaboratively by a team of Canadian, South African and Ecuadorian researchers and has the following objectives: (1) to examine the impact of public health containment and mitigation responses to COVID‑19 on the food security of marginalized refugee and immigrant groups in urban areas; (2) to assess the similarities and differences between the three sites in terms of access to government, business, and community food security and social protection mechanisms; (3) to provide critical decision-making and pandemic response data to local stakeholders to inform food policy responses; and (4) to strengthen the capacity of Canadian and LMIC researchers and research institutions to respond rapidly to ongoing and future food security shocks.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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