Evidence suggests refugees are experiencing significant economic hardship due to disproportionate job loss, difficulty accessing relief, and reduced support during the COVID-19 lockdown measures. This project is unmasking the (unequal) impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees and community-based asylum seekers globally.

Project Status

Completed Projects

Chief investigators

Dr Zelalem Mengesha, Ms Esther Alloun, Dr Patrick Harris, Professor Evelyne de Leeuw, Mrs Danielle Weber, Dr Mitchell Smith

Project Rationale

The disproportionate impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic is widening the pre-pandemic social, health and economic gaps between refugees and host populations in countries of resettlement. This review will synthesise evidence on these aspects of the pandemic in community based asylum seekers and displaced populations to inform policies that avert risks and negative outcomes.

Project Aim/s

The project aims to (1) synthesise evidence on risk of infection, transmission, development of disease, and risk of severe course of disease on community based asylum seekers and displaced populations; (2) review the evidence on the effects of lockdown measures on their health, and (3) gather evidence on effective policy strategies to avert risks and negative outcomes.

Project Design and Method

Systematic review


Zelalem Mengesha Phone: 0414637321 Email: z.mengesha@unsw.edu.au

Key Partners

SWSLHD, NSW Refugee Health Service


NSW Refugee Health Service

Project lead centre
Project stream
Action for Equity
Project start date
Project end date