Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises Mar 21, 2020 By David LeblangDanielle N. PooleDaniel J. EscuderoLawrence O. GostinElizabeth A. Talbot Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises Over 168 million people across 50 countries are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2020. Response to epidemics in complex humanitarian crises— such as the recent cholera epidemic in Yemen and the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo— is a global health challenge of increasing scale . The thousands of Yemeni and Congolese who have died in these years-long epidemics demonstrate the difficulty of combatting even well-known pathogens in humanitarian settings. The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may represent a still greater threat to those in complex humanitarian crises, which lack the infrastructure, support, and health systems to mount a comprehensive response. Poor governance, public distrust, and political violence may further undermine interventions in these settings. Populations affected by humanitarian crises are expected to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, due to displacement, crowded housing, malnutrition, inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) tools, and stigmatization. Disease outbreaks further reduce access to limited healthcare, which is increasingly disrupted by attacks on health facilities and the persistent overburdening of health systems. These situations escalate both the necessity and the difficulty of delivering accurate and actionable information to potentially affected populations. Read article International Journal for Equity in Health UVA partners Global Policy Center David Leblang David Leblang is a professor of public policy at the Batten School, the Ambassador Henry J. Taylor and Mrs Marion R. Taylor Endowed Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, and the Dorothy Danforth Compton Professor of Public Affairs at UVA's Miller Center. His research focuses on global migration including refugee and migrant choice as well as the link between migration and observed international investment, remittance flows, and the spread of democracy. Read full bio Danielle N. Poole Daniel J. Escudero Lawrence O. Gostin Elizabeth A. Talbot Related Content David Leblang Labor Market Policy as Immigration Control: The Case of Temporary Protected Status Research Controlling immigration has become a central political goal in advanced democracies. Politicians across the world have experimented with a range of policies such as foreign aid in the hopes that aid will spur development in migrant origin countries and decrease the demand for emigration. We argue that internal policy tools are more effective, in particular, the use of policies that allow temporary migrants short-term access to host country labor markets. Familiarity Breeds Investment: Diaspora Networks and International Investment Research What explains cross-national patterns of international portfolio and foreign direct investment (FDI)? While existing explanations focus on the credibility of a policy maker’s commitment, we emphasize the role of diaspora networks. Rural poverty, climate change, and family migration from Guatemala News David Leblang, Director of the Batten School’s Global Policy Center, along with co-authors, assesses the root causes of migration from Guatemala. Leblang: How resettling Afghan refugees might help Afghanistan’s future News In an article for The Washington Post, Batten's David Leblang and co-author Margaret Peters explain how migrants help their home countries by building trade ties and by sending back both cash and political knowledge.