HelpAge – COVID-19, Displacement & Older People in Afghanistan - by Samuel Hall

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This research brief highlights:

• Limited targeted support for elderly IDPs & returnees and a lack of special healthcare services, including COVID-19 testing capacities, for elderly IDPs.

• Health workers in Kabul identify elderly clients as more likely to struggle with depression.

• Decreased access to healthcare for IDPs and returnees due to costs of treatment and transport, and location of health clinics.

• Changing perceptions and cultural norms as a result of COVID-19 increase feelings that elders are a burden. IDP families report being unable to support elderly members.


Samuel Hall presents its second report on COVID-19 and the elderly in Afghanistan – an independent, self-funded contribution to a multi-partner series coordinated by HelpAge International with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The overall objective of this series is to broadly monitor, document, and share how the situation of older people in Asia has changed in 2020 as a result of COVID-19, in order to inform programmatic responses and policy advice, postpandemic.

The methodology is geared towards collecting and analysing a wide range of secondary evidence from multiple sources, including key informants implicated in public health, social affairs, refugee and repatriation affairs, community leaders, and older people themselves.

Given the increase in the number of returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan in 20201 , this brief adds on a displacement angle to analyse the status of older displaced people during COVID-19 – asking specifically how older persons are faring in displacement contexts and how they are being supported?

The view expressed in this document can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of HelpAge International, UNFPA nor government concerned.

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