COVID-19: are we leaving the poorest and most vulnerable behind?

LIDC is running a very interesting event this week.

While some countries in Asia and Europe have started lifting their Covid-19 lockdowns, many low-income countries are perhaps at the very start of calamity. Fragile health systems will easily become overwhelmed. Washing hands is difficult without soap and running water. If the alternative is to let the family go hungry, then people will go to work even during lockdown.

Please sign up for this event. Registration is mandatory.



In LIDC’s upcoming online seminar on how Covid-19 is impacting low-income countries, we will hear from both academics and development practitioners. Plan International and ICRC will share insight into how they are working to support vulnerable people in low-income countries during the pandemic, and how they are adapting their projects and programmes to Covid-19. Professor Hanna Kuper of LSHTM, whose main research interest is disability in low- and middle-income countries, will talk about disability and Covid-19. Dr Penny Vera-Sanso of Birkbeck will focus on Covid-19 and older people in the context of their social and economic networks.




Professor Hannah Kuper is Director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), a research group that works to expand the research and teaching activities of LSHTM in the field of global disability. Professor Kuper joined LSHTM in 2002. Her main research interest is disability in low- and middle-income countries. Professor Kuper has an undergraduate degree from Oxford University in Human Sciences and a doctorate from Harvard University in epidemiology. Her full biography is available on LSHTM’s website.


Markus Geisser is a Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross. Markus joined the ICRC in 1999 and carried out his first mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He went on to manage field operations in Myanmar, Thailand, Liberia, Darfur (Sudan) and eastern DRC. Markus then worked in senior management positions in Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan and in Washington DC. From 2013 until 2015, he served as Deputy Head of the division working on humanitarian policy and multilateral diplomacy at the ICRC’s headquarters in Geneva. In 2015 he joined the ICRC Mission to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Markus also supports ICRC policy work in other contexts in Europe, mainly Germany and Ireland. He holds a Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Fernuniversität Hagen, a BA in Political Sociology from the University of Lausanne and a MSc in Violence, Conflict Development from SOAS.


Keren Simons is Gender in Emergencies Adviser at Plan International UK, focusing particularly on girls’ rights, needs, and capacities during humanitarian crises. Keren has previously worked on the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh; Syrian conflict; Lake Chad Crisis and many others before focusing on the current Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on girls. She has a Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies from Oxford University.




Dr Penny Vera-Sanso is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies and Social Anthropology at Birkbeck, University of London. She was the Principal Investigator of the international multidisciplinary projects ‘Ageing, Poverty and Neoliberalism in Urban South India’ in 2007-10, and the follow-up project ‘Ageing and Poverty: the working lives of older people in India’ in 2012-13. Penny has published widely on later life and gender relations in India, particularly on the impact of liberalisation and the global economy on livelihoods and gender and generational relations in low-income households. More recently, she has published on ageism and age discrimination and the role of older people’s paid and unpaid work in supporting India’s economy.

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Event details

When: 23 April, 2020 - 1:00 am

Where: Zoom