COVID-19 and urban migrants in the Horn of Africa: Lived citizenship and everyday humanitarianism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Downloads (Pure)


This contribution focuses on everyday humanitarianism by migrant communities in three cities in the Horn of Africa: Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Khartoum. It is framed around the concept of lived citizenship, defined as a means to secure well-being through everyday acts and practices.
Based on an analysis of comparative interview data among Eritrean and Ethiopian migrant communities in each city, I advance the following arguments: COVID-19 has impacted lived citizenship practices to different degrees, linked to previous forms of precarity and the means and networks of coping with those. Disruptions of transnational support networks resulted in a turn towards local networks and everyday practices of solidarity. These forms of everyday humanitarianism range from spontaneous to more organised forms, but what unites them is a perceived lack of involvement by international humanitarian actors (such as UNHCR) and the local state. In addition, concrete forms of everyday humanitarianism often relate back to memories and experiences of times of hardship in migrants’ homelands. The paper thus raises important questions in relation to transnational humanitarian action in a global crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-26
JournalIDS Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2022

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19 and urban migrants in the Horn of Africa: Lived citizenship and everyday humanitarianism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this