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Food and nutrition security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during Covid‑19 pandemic

On March 13th, the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Ethiopia. Three days later, the government closed schools, banned all public gatherings and sporting activities, and recommended social distancing. Other measures to contain the spread of the virus soon followed. Travelers from abroad were put into a 14-day mandatory quarantine, bars were closed until further notice, and travel through land borders was prohibited. Several regional governments banned all public transportation and imposed restrictions on other vehicle movement between cities and rural areas. While these actions are expected to slow the spread of the virus, they may have substantial adverse effects on food and nutrition security. To gain a better understanding of these impacts, we are conducting a series of phone surveys in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. This project builds on a recent food consumption and nutrition survey fielded in February 2020. We extend this study with four rounds of phone interviews with 1-month intervals. The purpose of these phone surveys is to understand how Covid-19 is affecting food and nutrition security in Addis Ababa. While households in the capital are better off on average than households in rural and other urban areas, the virus is likely to spread faster in the capital because of higher population density. Measures to contain the virus will also have stronger effects on urban residents because urban areas are dependent on food produced in rural areas and their livelihoods are more likely to be in sectors more likely to be affected (tourism, restaurants and other service sectors).

Lead investigator:

Kalle Hirvonen


International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Primary topic:

Families & households

Secondary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Phone survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date


End date




Read the results from this research