Between a rock and a hard place: early experience of migration challenges under the Covid-19 pandemic

This working paper was produced under the European Union Horizon 2020 funded AGRUMIG project and traces the impact of Covid-19 on migration trends in seven project countries – China, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal and Thailand. The context of global migration has changed dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both within and between countries there has been a substantial curtailment of movement. As a result of multiple lockdowns, economic activity has severely declined and labor markets have ground to a halt, with mass unemployment in industrialized economies looming on the horizon. For both migrant hosting and origin countries – some are substantially both – this poses a set of complex development challenges. Partners of the AGRUMIG project undertook a rapid review of impacts across project countries, exploring the impacts on rural households but also identifying the persistent desire to migrate in spite of restrictions.