University of Portsmouth to study how coronavirus has impacted migrants and their families

THE aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic on fledgling communities is being examined by the University of Portsmouth, to see what lessons can be learned for the future.

By David George
Saturday, 5th September 2020, 6:00 am

The university has received £203,025 from the government to lead a study on Covid-19’s socio-economic and health impact of the pandemic on international female migrants and their families at home, in Indonesia.

Lead by Professor Saseendran Pallikadavath, the study is one of 20 being carried out across the UK, for which the government has dished out £7.2m in funding.

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On September 2, Indonesia reported more than 3,000 new cases to bring its official total to over 180,000 infections and 7,616 deaths. Picture: Adek Berry/AFP via Getty Images

Professor Pallikadavath said: ‘There are no studies on the impact of Covid-19 on the 1.3 million women from Indonesia working abroad, mainly in the Middle East and south east Asia, as maids and carers in private homes.

‘These hundreds of thousands of women leave behind their families to work in positons where they are particularly vulnerable to neglect.

‘For example, women in such roles routinely lose access to health care, have their wage cut or delayed indefinitely.’

The study, which is expected to take 18 months to complete, will help to identify the communities most at risk from coronavirus due to long-term conflict, food and water shortages, and crowded living conditions.

Professor Pallikadavath’s project will gather reliable data on the health, economic and social welfare of female migrants and their families and make policy recommendations so that the Indonesian government can take timely action, enable access to Covid-19 tests and treatments and provide wider economic and social support.

Speaking about the research, business secretary Alok Sharma said: ‘Defeating coronavirus is a truly global endeavour, which is why we’re backing Britain’s scientists and researchers to work with their international counterparts to find tech solutions to treat and combat this virus around the world.

‘By backing the University of Portsmouth’s pioneering research project in Indonesia to understand the impact of Covid-19 on female migrants and their families, we are equipping some of the most vulnerable communities with the resources they need to tackle pandemics now and in the future.’

Government funding will be managed by UK aid programmes, the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund.

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